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THE CHARM OF 

THE ENGLISH 
VILLAGE 



BYEH.D1TCHFIELDAK 
ILLUSTRATED BY 
SYDNEY R. JONES 






CONTENTS 



\ 



I PAGE 

THE VILLAGE ...... i 

II 
THE VILLAGE CHURCH - - - - - 23 

III 
MANORS, FARMS, AND RECTORIES - - - H 

IV 
COTTAGE ARCHITECTURE - - - - +7 

V 

DETAILS, DECORATION, (5^- INTERIORS OF COTTAGES 72 

VI 
VILLAGE GARDENS - - - - - 83 

VII 
INNS, SHOPS, AND MILLS - - - - - 95 

VIII 
ALMSHOUSES AND GRAMMAR SCHOOLS - - iii 

IX 
VILLAGE CROSSES, GREENS, AND OLD-TIME 

PUNISHMENTS - - - - - 119 

X 

BARNS AND DOVECOTES - - - - - LH 

XI 
OLD ROADS, BRIDGES, AND RIVERS - - -142 

XII 
SUNDIALS AND WEATHERCOCKS - - - iS' 

INDEX -------- 161 



THE CHARM 
OF THE ENGLISH VILLAGE 



THE VILLAGE 

NO country in the world can boast of possessing 
rural homes and villages which have half the 
charm and picturesqueness of our English 
cottages and hamlets. Wander where you will, 
in Italy or Switzerland, France or Germany, and when you 
return home you will be bound to confess that in no foreign 
land have you seen a village which for beauty and interest 
can compare with the scattered hamlets of our English land. 
These others may be surrounded by grander scenery and 
finer landscapes. The monotonous blue sea of the Mediter- 
ranean may lave their feet ; lofty, snow-clad mountains may 
tower above chalets and homesteads ; the romance of the 
Rhine, the vine-clad slopes, may produce a certain amount of 
attractiveness ; but when you return to England and contrast 
our peaceful homely villages with all that you have seen, you 
will have learned to appreciate their real charm. They have 
to be known in order that they may be loved. They do not 
force themselves upon our notice. The hasty visitor may 
pass them by, and miss half their attractiveness. They have 
to be wooed in varying moods in order that they may display 
their charms, when the blossoms are bright in the village 



THE CHARM OF THE ENGLISH VILLAGE 

orchards, when the sun shines on the streams and pools and 
gleams upon the glories of old thatch, when autumn has 
tinged the trees with golden tints, or when the hoar-frost 
makes their bare branches beautiful again with new and 
glistening foliao;e. Not even in their summer garb do they 
look more beautiful. 

One of the causes of the charm ot an English village 
arises from the sense of their stability. Nothing changes in 
our country life. The old tower of the village church that 
has looked down upon generation after generation of the 
inhabitants seems to say, " J e suis^ je reste. All things 
change but I. I see the infant brought here to be christened. 
A few years pass ; the babe has grown to be an old man and 
is borne here, and sleeps under my shadow. Age after age 
passes, but I survive." One of the most graceful of 
English writers tells tenderly ot this sense of the stability 
of our village life : — " On the morning of Charles I's exe- 
cution, — in the winters and springs when Elizabeth v/as 
Queen, — when Becket lay dead on Canterbury steps, — when 
Harold was on his way to Senlac, — that hill, that path were 
there — sheep were climbing it, and shepherds were herding 
them. It has been so since England began — it will be so 
when 1 am dead. We are only shadows that pass. But 
England lives always — and shall live."^ 

Another charm of our villages is their variety. There 
are no two villages exactly the same. Each one possesses its 
own individuality, its own history, peculiarities, and architec- 
tural distinction. Church, manor-house, farm and cottage, 
differ somewhat in each village. You never see two churches 
or two houses exactly alike, just as the Great Architect scarcely 
ever has framed two faces exactly similar. It is true that 
the style is traditional, that each son learned from his sire 
how to build, and followed the plans and methods of his 
forefathers ; but he never slavishly imitated their work. 

^ Mrs. Humphry Ward, The Testing of Diana Mal/ory. 

2 




WEOI?LK^■, HKREI ORDSHIRK 



THE CHARM OF THE ENGLISH VILLAGE 

He introduced improvements devised by his own ingenuity 
and skill, created picturesque effects which added beauty to 
the building. Sometimes his purse was full with the price 
ot his rich fleeces, and he could afford to adorn his home 
with more elaborate decoration ; sometimes res angusta domi^ 
when times were bad, compelled him to aim at greater 
simplicity with no less satisfactory results. 

Another cause of variety in the appearance of our village 
buildings is the different nature of the materials used in their 
construction. Geology plays no small part in the production 
ot various styles ot village architecture. In the days of our 
forefathers, in Elizabethan or Jacobean times, there were no 
railroads to transport slates from Wales, or dump down 
wagon-loads of bricks or beams of timber in a country that 
possessed good stone-quarries. They were obliged to use the 
materials which nature in their own district afforded. This 
was the great secret of their success. Nature's productions 
harmonise best with the face of nature in the district where 
they are produced. Alien buildings have always an un- 
satisfactory appearance ; and if we modern folk would build 
with good effect, we must use the natural material provided 
by the quarries, or woods, or clay-pits indigenous to the 
district, and not transport our materials from afar. 

There is^ an immense variety in the building stone of 
England. There are the sandstones ; the Old Red Sand- 
stone of Cheshire, Shropshire, and Herefordshire, which 
cannot long resist the weather, but is a beautiful material 
and harmonises well with the surrounding scenery ; the 
New Sandstone of Tunbridge Wells and many places in 
Yorkshire, and is extremely durable ; the Reigate variety, 
the best of the fircstones which the old builders used 
for the stately castle of Windsor, Hampton Court, and 
other palatial buildings round London. Then there are 
the limestone quarries, which yield the best of material 
for building. You see splendid edifices all along the course 

4 




FARI.EK.H HUNT, FR FORD, SOMERSET 



THE CHARM OF THE ENGLISH VILLAGE 

of this formation extending from Somerset through the 
Midlands to the dales of Yorkshire. Chilmark supplied 
the grand stone for Salisbury Cathedral and Wilton Abbey ; 
Tottenhoe in the Midlands gave us Dunstable Church and 
Woburn Abbey and Luton ; Belvoir and Chatsworth de- 
rived their stone from Worksworth, Derbyshire ; Ancaster 
in Lincolnshire has yielded material for many good buildings ; 




BERRYNARF.OR, DEVON 



and Tadcaster has built York Minster, Beverley, and Ripon. 
Kentish rag found near Maidstone is as hard as iron, but is 
good for rough walling. Then there is the great division of 
oolitic limestone, of which the Barnack, Bath, and Portland 
oolites are the best. All these quarries have yielded material 
for great buildings as well as for the humbler village churches, 
cottages, and manor-houses which it is our pleasure to visit. 
Where stone is scarce and forests plentiful our builders 

6 



[.I 



4 




THE CHARM OF THE ENGLISH VILLAGE 

made use of timber, especially in the south-eastern district, 
where halt-timbered houses form a wondrous charm to all 
who admire their beauties. Now we get our timber from 
Russia, Norway, Sweden, and America ; but our ancestors 
loved nothing more than good old English oak, and oak 
abounded in many parts of the country, in the south-eastern 
counties, Herefordshire, Shropshire, Cheshire, and Lanca- 
shire, where some grand timber houses may be found. Brick 
and flint are the principal substances of East Anglia building 
and in many other parts ot England ; and houses built of 
the dark, dull, thin old bricks, not of the great staring modern 
varieties, are very charming, especially when they are seen 
against a backo-round ot wooded hills. 

Cornish cottages are built of granite and cling to the 
valley sides, so that one can hardly distinguish between the 
living rock and the built wall. The moor-side dwellings on 
the rugged hills of Cumberland and Westmoreland are also 
constructed of granite and roofed with slate, and look lonely 
and desolate in their bleak surroundino-s. 

There is, therefore, an endless variety in the style, 
architecture, and appearance ot our villages which is one 
of their chief charms. Our artist transports us to various 
parts of England, and his drawings show the immense variety 
in the appearances of our villages. He has travelled through 
many counties, sketching with skilful pen each beautiful 
view, each characteristic building. We journey with him 
to the West and note the fine "black and white" houses 
in Weobley village, Herefordshire (p. 3), the picturesque 
village of Farleigh Hungerford (p. 5), six miles from Bath, and 
some old cottages at Berrynarbor, Devon. Fishing villages 
on the sea-coast have a style of their own with their little 
harbours, wooden piers, and their fishing boats. An example 
of one of these quaint old ports is shown in the sketch of 
Porlock Weir, Somerset. Northwards we fly to picturesque 
Derbyshire, where high towering peaks and lovely scenery 



^•s^ 




STANTON- IN-THE-PEAK, DERBYSHIRE 



THE CHARM OF THE ENGLISH VILLAGE 

add again another element of variety to the appearance of the 
villages that nestle among the hills, and where good building 
stone affords a fine material for the erection of village 
dwellintj- places. We see the little village of Stoney 
Middleton encircled by rocks and hills, and Stanton-in-the 
Peak, a pretty glimpse of a village street. Northampton- 




""1 n 



STOXEY MIDDLETON, DERBYSHIRE 



shire, too, has some grand stone for building purposes. No 
county is richer than this one for its noble churches. A 
typical Northamptonshire village is Moreton Pinkney, of 
which a sketch is shown. 

The three counties which compose the Oxford diocese, 
Berks, Bucks, and Oxfordshire, have many pretty villages. 

lO 













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'■' 1 




THE VILLAGE 



Sutton Courtney, Berks, reminds us of the monks of 
Abingdon who had a grange there, and of the noble family 
of the Courtneys who held one of the manors and possessed 
a manor-house, which retains a Norman doorway and the 
chapel. West Wycombe, Bucks, is a picturesque village (p. 14) 







WATLINGTON, OXON 



Stretching along the main road towards Stokenchurch, famous 
for its extraordinary church built in 1763 by Lord le 
Despencer, Francis Dashwood, one of the Medmenham 
" monks "ot evil fame. The building shown on the right 
of the sketch has a projecting clock and is known as the 
church-loft. Beneath it are labourers' cottages. Watlington 
is a small market-town, scarcely larger than a village. The 

13 



THE CHARM OF THE ENGLISH VILLAGE 

sketch shows the old market-house built in 1664 by Thomas 
Stonor, standing at the meeting of four cross-roads. It is 
not unlike that of Ross on the Wye, and, with its mullioned 
windows, high pointed gables, and dark arches, is a favourite 
subject for artists. 

A good example of a Suffolk village is shown in the 
sketch of Cavendish (p. 17), with its church and cottages 




WEST WYCOMBK, BUCKS 



clustering round it like children holding the gown of their 
good mother, and in the foreground the village green, the 
scene of many a rural revel. Biddenden, Kent, reminds us of 
the famous maids who left a bequest for the distributing 
of doles of bread and cheese on Easter Sunday, and of the 
remarkable cakes, each stamped with a representation of the 
foundresses of the feast, who are supposed to have been 
linked together like the Siamese Twins. This quiet and 

14 




SELBORNE, HANTS, FROM THE HANGER 



. THE VILLAGE 

remote village possesses some charming half-timbered cottages, 
as the sketch shows. 

A pleasing sketch of historic Selborne, Hants, the village 
immortalised by Gilbert White, is shown, and the beauties 
of Ringwood stand revealed when viewed in the subdued 
light of a stormy sunset. The Isle of Wight abounds with 
fine specimens of picturesque villages and prettily situated 
cottages. A view of Carisbrook taken from the castle hill 




i'»»J'>-«'- 5 



CAVENDISH, SUFFOLK 



is shown (p. 21), and of Godshill village (p. 19), with its 
thatched cottages and good church tower. 

In spite of the endless variety of our villages it is not 
difficult to note their main characteristics, and to try to 
describe a typical example. We see arising above the trees 
the village church, the centre of the old village life, both 
religious, secular, and social. The building has been altered 
and added to at various times, and now shows, writ in stone, 
its strange and varied history. The work ot Norman 
masons and of the builders of subsequent periods can be 



THE CHARM OF THE ENGLISH VILLAGE 

seen in its walls and sculptures, and also the hand of " re- 
storers " who have dealt hardly with its beauties, and in 
trying to renovate have often destroyed its chief attractions. 
We will examine it more particularly in a subsequent chapter. 

Nestling amid the trees we see the manor-house, the 
abode of the squire, an ancient dwelling-place of Tudor or 
Jacobean design, surrounded by a moat, with a good terrace- 
walk in front, and a formal garden with fountain and sun- 
dial and beds in arabesque. It seems to look down upon 
the village with a sort of protecting air. Near at hand are 
some old farm-houses, nobly built, with no vain pretension 
about them. Carefully thatched ricks and barns and stables 
and cow-sheds stand around them. 

There is a village inn with its curiously painted sign- 
board which has a story to tell of the old coaching days, 
and of the great people who used to travel along the main 
roads and were sometimes snowed up in a drift just below 
" the Magpie," but could always find good accommodation 
in the inn, beds with lavender-scented sheets, plain, well- 
cooked English joints, and every attention. Perhaps the 
village can boast of an ancient castle or a monastery, the 
ruins of which add beauty and picturesqueness to its ap- 
pearance. 

An old almshouse, a peaceful retreat for the aged and 
infirm, built by some pious benefactor in ages long gone 
by, attracts our gaze, a beautiful Jacobean structure, perhaps, 
with the chapel in one wing and the master's house in the 
■other. Nor did the good people of former days forget the 
advantages of education. There is an old school which modern 
Government inspectors can scarcely be persuaded to allow 
to live, because it is not framed according to modern plans 
and ideas. Some villages can boast of a grammar school, 
too — Secondary Schools they call them now — the buildings 
ot which are not the least attractive features of the place. 

The village green still remains to remind us of the gaiety 










fi^4S« 




CARISHROOK FROM THli CASTLIi HILL, ISLE OF WIGHT 



THE CHARM OF THE ENGLISH VILLAGE 

of old village lite, where the old country dances were in- 
dulged in by the villagers, and the merry May-pole reared. 
There they held their rural sports, and fought bouts of 
quarter-staff and cudgel-play, and played pipe and tabor at 
many a rustic feast. 

No country in the world has so many beautiful examples 
cf cottao-e architecture as EnMand. We will examine, with 
the aid of our artist, many of these old buildings with the 
thatched roofs and general comeliness. The old village 
crosses, too, will arrest our attention, and much else that 
interests us, as we walk through the streets and lanes of an 
English village. With our artist's aid we will examine each 
feature of the village more particularly. We need not con- 
cern ourselves now with the buried treasure of old village 
history, though these constitute some of its chiefest at- 
tractions. It will be enough for us to use our eyes and note 
each beauty and perfection, and thus try to learn something 
of the charm of an English village. 



II 

THE VILLAGE CHURCH 

IN the centre of the village stands the church, always 
the most important and interesting building in the 
place. It appears in several of our illustrations of 
typical English villages. In the view of King's 
Norton, with the village green in the foreground and the 
half-timbered houses, the lofty spire of the church rises 
high above the trees and whispers a sursiim corda. Ditcheat 
Church (p. 27) stands in a region famous for its noble ecclesi- 
astical edifices and fine towers. It is mainly fifteenth-century 
work. We will inspect an ordinary village church which has 
not been too much " restored " or renovated, and observe its 
numerous interesting features. 

First, at the entrance of " God's acre " stands the lych- 
gate, the ga^e of the dead, usually protected by a broad 
overspreading gable roof in order that those who accom- 
pany the bodies of the faithful to their last resting-place may 
meet before going to the church, and may be protected from 
the weather. The gate at Clun, Shropshire (p. 26), is shown 
in our illustrations, a graceful four-gabled structure with 
tiled roof. The well-known gate at Bray, Berkshire, has a 
room over it. Entering the churchyard we recall Gray's 
poem, and note the place wherein 

The rude forefathers of the hamlet sleep, 

too often left uncared for, like that shown in the sketch 
at Shere (p. 29). The quaint inscriptions on the gravestones, 

23 



THE CHARM OF THE ENGLISH VILLAGE 

the curious productions of a rustic muse, excite interest, and 
the sombreness of the scene is relieved by many a touch of 
strange humour, such as the lines in memory of a parish 
clerk in Shenley churchyard, who was also a bricklayer : 

Silent in dust lies mouldering here 
A Parish clerk of voice most clear. 
None Joseph Rogers could excel 
In laying bricks or singing well ; 
Though snapp'd his line, laid by his rod, 
We build for him our hopes in God. 

The church itself is an ancient structure. It consists of 
a nave and chancel, and perhaps one or two aisles have been 
added to the nave, or a chantry chapel built on the north 
or south side of the chancel containing the tombs and 
monuments of some illustrious family connected with the 
place. Many Norman churches are cruciform, with a low 
tower rising at the intersection of the nave with the tran- 
septs. Frequently the tower stands at the west end. Various 
kinds of towers exist. We have the low Norman tower, 
frequently raised in subsequent periods and surmounted 
with a spire, the weight of which has sorely tried the early 
Norman building, and has often caused it to collapse ; round 
towers, towers highly enriched with turrets and parapets and 
crowned with a lofty spire. The external buttresses which 
support the walls indicate very clearly the period of the 
building. Norman buttresses extend very little from the 
walls, which were so strong that they needed little external 
support. As the builders strove after lightness and increased 
the size of the windows, larger and more extended buttresses 
were needed, until we get to flying buttresses, i.e. those of 
an outer wall connected by an arch to those of an inner, 
producing very graceful and beautiful effects. Niches for 
statues are often carved on the buttresses. Curious gro- 
tesquely carved heads and figures look down upon us from 
the gutters of the roofs — called gargoyles. The style and 

24 







king's NORTON FROM THE GREEN, WORCESTERSHIRE 



THE CHARM OF THE ENGLISH VILLAGE 

period of the windows are no indication of the age of the 
walls in which they appear. Very frequently windows of a 
later style were inserted in place of others of an older age. 
Thus Norman walls frequently have Perpendicular windows. 
The porch is a large structure with a gable having barge- 
boards similar to those seen in old houses. It is built of 







LYCH GATE, CLUN, SHROPSHIRE 



wood and roofed with tiles. There are seats on either side 
the porch. Sometimes we have stone porches with a room 
above, called a parvise, which occasionally has a piscina, 
showing that there must have been an altar there. This 
chamber was used as a priest's room, or by the custodian of 
the church who guarded its treasures ; in some cases as an 
anchor-hold, or room set apart for the use of an anchorite 

26 






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5-_ V, 



:^|f^'^iif*--;ii|iiiiil(iih„ 



3^/ 




THE CHARM OF THE ENGLISH VILLAGE 

or recluse. The doors of churches are an interesting study. 
Here in this typical village church we find a doorway em- 
bellished with curious Romanesque carving, the only remains 
of the old Norman church, except that the wall in which it 
is placed is probably of the same date, though it is pierced 
by a lancet and two Perpendicular windows. This doorway 
has a succession of receding semicircular arches enriched 
with a variety of sculptured mouldings, zigzag, cable, star, 
embattled, and beak-heads. These last are monsters with 
long beaks, meant to represent the devil and his angels ready 
to pounce upon the souls of those who come to church in 
a heedless and irreverent spirit. The door itself is the 
original one with large elaborate crescent-shaped hinges and 
a triple strap ornamented with scrolls and foliage, like that 
at Stillingfleet. These strong doors were intended to pro- 
tect the church from marauders, from northern pirates, and 
such-like folk. Above the door is the tympanum on which 
is carved the Agnus Dei. A great variety of subjects appear on 
these tympana — Adam and Eve, St. George and the Dragon, 
the Tree of Life, signs of the Zodiac, and very many other 
symbolical representations. Above the doorway is a niche, 
now shorn of its image, but probably once containing the 
statue of our Lord or the Virgin. You will notice on the 
stones of the doorway rude crosses scratched with a knife 
which are votive crosses made hundreds of years ago by 
persons who had made some vow, or desired thus mutely 
to express their thankfulness for some special and private 
mercy. 

On entering the church we see the font, an old Norman 
one, decorated with mouldings and sculpture. It is lined with 
lead, and on the sides are rudely carved the four evangelists 
with their symbols. The roof is much flatter than an 
earlier one which once spanned the church, as the marks on 
the tower show. This one was erected in the fifteenth 
century with tie-beams extending from wall to wall, and 

28 




GOU S ACRE, SHERE, SURREY 



THE CHARM OF THE ENGLISH VILLAGE 

resting on uprights placed on corbels, and underneath the 
beams are curved bracing-ribs which meet in the centre of the 
beam and form an arch. Above the centre of the beam is 
a king-post, and the vacant space is occupied by pierced 
panels. This sloping portion of the roof is divided into 
squares by pieces of timber called purlins, which are adorned 
with mouldings and bosses at their intersections. 

The nave is now filled with pews ; most of them are quite 
new, but in one corner we find a few of the old seats richly 




HOUR-GLASS BRACKET, SOUTH 
STOKE CHURCH, OXON 



carved with poppy-heads, which, 1 need not say, have nothing 
to do with the flower. Happily all the old-fashioned high 
square pews which once disfigured the church have been 
removed, and these modern seats are somewhat like the more 
primitive models. 

There is a very fine Jacobean pulpit similar to that at 
Little Hadham Church, Hertfordshire, though not quite so 
elaborate. In 1603 churchwardens were ordered to provide 
in every church a " comely and decent pulpit," and although 
some few mediaeval examples remain, most of our pulpits have 

30 













LITTLE HADHAM CHURCH, HERTFORDSHIRE 



THE CHARM OF THE ENGLISH VILLAGE 

been erected since the first year of King James L A neces- 
sary accessory to the pulpit in the days of long sermons was 
the hour-glass, which a merciless preacher would sometimes 
turn and " have another glass." Very few of the actual glasses 
remain, but we have numerous examples of beautiful iron- 
work brackets which once supported the preacher's timepiece. 
A fine specimen is shown in our illustrations. It is in the 
church of South Stoke, Oxfordshire, and at Hurst and 
Binfield in Berkshire we have some magnificent examples of 
elaborate ironwork hour-orlass stands. 

o 

The church of Little Hadham retains its screen. Very 
many have been destroyed. Our typical church has a richly 
carved example painted and gilded, and on the north of the 
chancel arch is a staircase which once led to the rood-loft, 
where was a crucifix with the images of the Virgin and St. John 
on each side. The old stone altar marked with its five crosses 
has disappeared. It was destroyed at the Reformation, but 
there is a good modern altar with a fine old reredos richly 
ornamented with niches which formerly held statues. These 
have all disappeared. The east window contains some good 
decorated glass. The piscina and sedilia with their fine carv- 
ings all merit attention, and the aumbries now shorn of their 
doors wherein the church plate was formerly kept. The 
Easter sepulchre, the wooden stalls with their quaintly carved 
misereres (this church of ours was once attached to a 

monastic cell connected with the great abbey of A ), must 

all be noticed, and the verger will tell you that these were 
ingenious traps for sleepy monks, who when the heavy seat fell 
down with a loud bang, were detected in slumber and were 
forced to do penance ; but if you are wise, you will not 
believe him. He will also tell you that a little low side 
window was really a leper's window, through which the poor 
afflicted one could view the elevativJii of the host ; and again, 
if you are wise, you will not believe him, as you know the 
lepers were not even allowed to enter the churchyard. 

32 



THE VILLAGE CHURCH 

Some curious old mural paintings have recently been dis- 
covered beneath layers of whitewash, and we notice the 
figure of St. Nicholas raising to life the three youths thrown 
into a tub, and a huge St. Christopher, a very favourite 
subject, as a glance at him would secure the observer trom 
violent death throughout the day, and protect him from 
wandering thoughts during the service. 

Then there are the brasses to examine, the beautiful 
monuments of old knights and warriors, fine ladies with 
great ruffs praying at faldstools opposite their husbands with 
a crowd of children beneath them, and gigantic monuments 
of great ladies who possessed every imaginable virtue. 
Some of the knights have their legs crossed, and the vicar 
or the verger will tell you that they had fought in the 
crusades. That one whose feet are crossed at the ankles 
went to one crusade ; that other one whose feet are crossed 
at the knees fought twice in the Holy Land ; and the third 
knight with feet crossed at the thighs fought three times in 
the Holy Wars. Again you will not believe him, if you are 
wise, because you know that these interpretations of a curious 
fashion are fallacious, that some knights who fought in the 
crusades are not so represented, and that others who never 
left England have their feet crossed. It was a passing whim 
or fashion and has no particular signification. 

The bells with their quaint Inscriptions, if you have a mind 
to ascend the belfry tower, may interest you, and the church 
plate, and the contents of the Parish Chest, invite inspection. 
The chest itself, with its elaborate lock and iron-bound sides, 
is a great treasure. One of the chief charms of an English 
village is to ransack this chest and examine carefully the 
registers, the churchwardens' accounts, the briefs, and many 
an Old document that Time has failed to destroy. But this 
would lead us into too wide a field, and we must content 
ourselves with but a hasty survey of the village church and all 
the varied beauties and interesting objects which it contains. 

" 3 3 



Ill 

MANORS, FARMS, AND RECTORIES 

ALMOST every village has its giants as well as its 
dwarfs, its tritons as well as its minnows. You 
see its grander and finer specimens of English 
domestic architecture as well as the humbler dwell- 
ings of the poor. We will endeavour to examine in this 
chapter the former, the manor-house, the rectory or vicarage, 
and the farm-houses, three styles of houses which have much 
in common, though they maintain their own characteristics. 

Some villages possess a great and important mansion, 
wherein some noble family resides, a glorified manor-house, 
Elizabethan or Jacobean perhaps, more commonly a Palladian 
structure built in the Italian manner, which has supplanted 
an earlier house and not improved upon the old English 
model. There was at one time a fashion for pulling down 
old Tudor or Elizabethan houses and rearing these Italian 
mansions. Very grand they are and ornate, but not over 
comfortable to live in. A great wit advised the builder of 
one of these mansions to hire a room on the other side of 
the road, and spend his time looking at his Palladian house, 
but to be sure not to live there. But our typical village 
does not possess a mansion ; no Longleat or Haddon, no 
Lacock or Hardwick add to its importance ; nor is it fortu- 
nate enough to have a castle. Its charm would be mightily 
increased if it could boast of such a venerable building, 
though the castle were but a ruin, a memorial of ancient 
state and power. Our artist has depicted one such castle, 

34 




HURSTMONCEUX CASTLE, SUSSEX 



THE CHARM OF THE ENGLISH VILLAGE 

that of Hurstmonceux, in Sussex, which was at one time 
the largest and finest of the commoners' houses in the county, 
and was built in the fifteenth century. It was built of hard 
Flemish brick, with windows, door-cases, and copings of 
stone. The brickwork, sometimes said to be the earliest in 
England,^ has long worn a greyish tint. The sketch shows 
the entrance gateway flanked by two towers with machiola- 
tions and pierced with embrasures tor bowmen. The two 
towers are crowned by turrets, named the watch and signal 
turrets. A moat surrounds the castle, and was spanned by 
a drawbridofe, the vertical slits on each side of the central 
recessed window being fitted with levers for raisins: and lower- 
ing the bridge. Over the archway are the arms of the 
Fiennes family, a wolf-dog with its paws on a banner and 
three lions rampant. If we were to pass through this gate 
we should find the ruins of an immense castle, a veritable 
town. Grouped round the green court, which is girt by a 
cloister, we see the remains of the great hall, a noble room, 
the postern gate with chapel over it, prison, pantries, bird 
gallery, armour gallery, ale-cellar, a grand staircase, with 
drawing-room, great parlour, bedchambers sufficient to 
lodge a garrison, and ladies' bower ; while from the Pump 
Court we see the laundry, brewhouse. bakehouse, and a 
vast kitchen, still-room, confectioner's room, and countless 
other apartments. The castle was indeed a noble and hos- 
pitable mansion in olden time. The castle was built in the 
days of transition, when the strong uncomfortable fortress 
-vvas giving place to a more luxurious mansion, though the 
necessity of strong walls and gates had not quite passed 
.-away. We need not concern ourselves with its history. 
Its name preserves the memories of two ancient families, 
De Hurst and De Monceaux, and was built in 1440 by Sir 
Roger Fiennes, one of the heroes of Agincourt and treasurer 

1 Little Wcnham Hall, Suffolk, built of brick in the time of Henry III, 
is older than Hurstmonceux, and also the chapel of Little Coggeshall, Lssex. 

36 



THE CHARM OF THE ENGLISH VILLAGE 

of Henry VL His descendants had the title of Lord Dacre 
conferred upon them, and the last became Earl of Sussex, 
marrying a natural daughter of Charles II, and being im- 
pecunious sold the property. Its subsequent history does 
not concern us. The ghosts of its great owners seem to 
haunt the scene of their former splendour, and one noted 
uneasy spirit inhabited Drummer's hall, and marched along 
the battlements beating a devil's tattoo on his drum. But 
perhaps he was only a gardener in league with the smugglers, 
and used this ghostly means for conveying to them a needful 
signal. Ghosts often frequent the old houses of England, 
and our artist's sketch of the haunted house, Harvington 
Hall, Worcestershire, which looks delightfully picturesque 
in the moonlight, certainly suggests the appearance of a 
ghostly resident or visitor. We know of such a house in 
Lancashire, which, like Harvington Hall, is encircled by a 
moat. It contains a skull in a case let into the wall of the 
staircase. This skull has been cast into the moat, buried in 
the ground, and removed in many other ways ; but terrible 
happenings ensue : storms rage and lightnings flash, and 
groans are heard, until the skull is brought back to its niche, 
when peace ensues. Some say the skull is that of a Roman 
priest beheaded at Lancaster ; others that it once graced the 
body of Roger Downes, the last heir of the house, one of 
the wildest courtiers of Charles II. These ancient traditions, 
ghosts and legends, add greatly to the charm of our old 
houses. 

Leaving the mansions of the great, we will visit the 
usual chief house of the village, the m^anor-house, where the 
lord of the manor lived and ruled in former days, adminis- 
tered justice, and was the friend and benefactor of every one 
in the village. In times gone by the squire was an impor- 
tant factor in the village commonwealth. His place was at 
home in the old manor-house, and he was known by every 
one in the village. Son succeeded father in manor, farm- 

3S 







MOOR HALL, HUMPHRIES END, NEAR SIROUD, GLOUCESTER 



THE CHARM OF THE ENGLISH VILLAGE 

house, and cottage, and the relationship of landlord to 
tenant, employer to labourer, was intimate and traditional. 
Agricultural depression has told heavily on the race of old 
squires. Times are changed. Young squires love the ex- 
citement of towns and travel. The manor-house is often 
closed or let to strangers, and village life is different now 
from what it was a century ago. 

But the manor-house remains, though frequently it is 
used as a farm-house, and has lost its ancient prestige. It 
forms a charming feature in the landscape. It is old and 
weather-beaten, set in a framework of pines and deciduous 
trees, with lawns and shrubberies. Look at the beautiful 
illustration of Moor Hall, near Stroud, with its high gables, 
tiled roofs, and muUioned windows, and compare it with any 
foreign building of the same size, and you will respect the 
memories of our English builders. The manor-house at 
Wool, Dorset, a county very rich in such buildings, is also 
very attractive, approached by a fine stone bridge, and sur- 
rounded by trees and farm buildings. 

Most of the old manor-houses have given place to Tudor 
or Elizabethan structures, but there is a perfect fourteenth- 
century example at Little Hempton, near Totnes. It con- 
sists of a quadrangle with a small central court, into which 
all the windows, except that of the hall, look from sunless 
rooms. The hall was heated by a brazier in the centre — at 
least, the heat might have been sufficient to thaw numbed 
fingers. A gloomy parlour with a fire-place in it, kitchen, 
porter's lodge, cellar, and stable, and upstairs one long 
dormitory complete the building, which was none too com- 
fortable. 

Some villages have two manor-houses, and others were 
divided into several manors. In Berkshire, at Sutton 
Courtney, there are two houses — one formerly attached to 
the abbey of Abingdon, the other to the Courtney family. 
The great feature was a large hall ; at one end was an entrance 

40 



THE CHARM OF THE ENGLISH VILLAGE 

passage separating the hall from the buttery or store-room, 
and above this the ladies' bower. A chapel was also attached, 
sometimes placed at one end of the loft above the hall. 
From this elementary plan subsequent manor-houses have 
been developed. 

The tradition of the central hall lingered on for centuries, 
and can be seen still in manor-house, farmstead, and cottage. 




FARM-HOUSE NEAR K.NOWLE, WARWICKSHIRE 

The central hall with wings at each side, and barns and stables 
and cow-sheds completing a quadrangle — this was the ideal 
plan of the squire's house, and yeoman-farmer and cottagers 
copied the buildings of their betters. The illustration of the 
farm-house near Knowle, Warwickshire, is picturesque in 
every detail, and shows the maintenance of the tradition of 
the central hall. Sometimes there is only one wing, as in 
the view of the beautiful old farmstead at Sutton Green, 
Oxfordshire, roofed with thatch and covered with creepers. 
The half-timbered farm-house at Rowington, Warwickshire, 

42 



THE CHARM OF THE ENGLISH VILLAGE 

is an old dwelling of early date, probably about the sixteenth 
century, which has the same original plan, but has taken to 
itself an addition at some later period. 

It is beyond our purpose to sketch the growth of domestic 
architecture and trace the evolution of the modern mansion 






> 


•-— ^'Vr^^-^*^^-- 


^'^-'- 




N. 


"*^i., ... 



FARM-HOUSE, ROWIXGTOX, WARWICKSHIRE 



from the Saxon hall. But there are many old farm-houses 
in England, once manor-houses, which retain, in spite of 
subsequent alterations, the distinguishing features of mediaeval 
architecture. The twelfth century saw a separate sleeping- 
chamber for the lord and his lady. In the next century 
they dined in a room apart from their servants. 

This process of development led to a multiplication of 

44 



MANORS, FARMS, AND RECTORIES 

rooms and the diminution of the size of the great hall. The 
walls were raised, and an upper room was formed under the 
roof for sleeping accommodation. In smaller houses, during 
the fifteenth century, the hall disappears, and corridors are 
introduced in order to give access to the various chambers. 
Some of these houses are built in the form of the letters E 
and H, which fanciful architectural authorities interpret as 
the initials of Henry VIII and Queen Elizabeth. But the 
former plan is merely a development ot the hall with wings 
at each end and a porch added, and the H is a hall with the 
wings considerably extended. 

The beautiful Tudor and Elizabethan manor-houses and 
palaces built at this time, when English domestic architecture 
reached the period of its highest perfection, are too grand 
and magnificent for us who are considering humbler abodes. 
But the style of their construction is reflected in the farm- 
houses and cottao-es. We see in these the same beautiful 
gables and projecting upper storeys, the same lattice case- 
ments, irregular corners and recesses which present themselves 
everywhere, and add a strange beauty to the whole appear- 
ance. Such common features link together the cottage, 
farm, and manor-house, just as the English character unites 
the various elements of our social existence and blends 
squire, farmer, and peasant into one community with common 
feeling and interests and a mutual respect. 

The old rectory is an important house in the village, and 
ranks next to the manor-house. It is usually a picturesque 
building, and several fourteenth-century parsonages remain, 
thou2;h some have been so altered that only small portions 
of the old house exist. Mediaeval parsonages survive still 
at West Dean, Sussex ; King's Stanley and Notgrove, 
Gloucestershire ; Wonstone, Hants ; Helmsley, Yorkshire ; 
Shillingford, Berks ; and at Alfriston, Sussex. This last 
example follows the usual type of fourteenth-century house, 
and consists of a fine hall, the lower part divided off 

45 



THE CHARM OF THE ENGLISH VILLAGE 

by a screen, a solar of two storeys at one end, and a 
kitchen at the other. It is built of oak framework, filled 
in with wattle and daub. These old houses show that the 
duty of entertaining strangers and travellers was duly recog- 
nised by the clergy. There were rooms set apart for guests, 
and the large stables attached to rectories and vicarages were 
not for the purpose of providing accommodation for the 
rector's hunters, but for the steeds of his visitors. 

The interior of the rectory speaks of learning and books. 
Books line the walls of the study ; they climb the stairs ; 
they overflow into dining-room and drawing-room. The 
light that shines from the study window is always there. 
Country-folk retire early to bed, and the village lights are 
soon extinguished ; but that study light is always burning 
far into the night, and is scarcely put out before the approach 
of dawn calls the labourer from his couch to begin his daily 
toil. 



46 



IV 
COTTAGE ARCHITECTURE 

THE building of beautiful cottages is almost a lost 
art, if we may judge from the hideous examples 
which modern builders are accustomed to rear 
amidst beautiful scenery that claimed exemption 
from such desecration. " Cottage-building does not pay," 
is the dictum of both farmer, squire, and ierry-builder. 
" You cannot get m.ore than two per cent on your money 
spent in erecting dwellings for the poor." Hence people are 
accustomed to build as cheaply as possible, and to destroy 
the beautiful earth and many a rustic paradise by the erection 
of these detestable architectural enormities. It has been said 
that villas at Hindhead seem to have broken out upon the 
once majestic hill like a red skin eruption. There is a 
sad contrast between these unsightly edilices with their 
glaring brick walls, their slate roofs, their little ungainlv 
stunted chimnevs, and the old-fashioned thatched or tiled 
dwellings that torm so charming a feature ot English rural 
scenerv. 

With the aid of our artist we hope to visit manv ot the 
humbler examples of English domestic architecture. It is 
well that they should be sketched, inspected, admired, and 
noted at once, as year by year their numbers are decreasing. 
Every year sees the destruction of several of these old 
buildings, which a little care and judicious restoration 
might have saved. Ruskin's words should be writ in 

47 



THE CHARM OF THE ENGLISH VILLAGE 

bold big letters at the head of the bye-laws of every 
District Council :- — 

"Watch an old building with anxious care; guard it as 
best you may, and at any cost, from any influence of dilapi- 
dation. Count its stones as you would the jewels of a 
crown. Set watchers about it, as if at the gate of a besieged 
city ; bind it together with iron when it loosens ; stay it 
with timber when it declines. Do not care about the un- 
sightliness of the aid —better a crutch than a lost limb ; and 
do this tenderly and reverently and continually, and many 
a generation will still be born and pass away beneath its 
shadow." 




COTTAGES AT WINSON, GLOUCESTERSHIRE (cOLN VALLEy) 



If this sound advice had been universally taken many a 
beautiful old cottage would have been spared to us, and our 
eyes would not be offended by the wondrous creations of 
estate agents and local builders who have no other ambitions 
but to build cheaply. 



COTTAGE ARCHITECTURE 

How different are the old cottages of England. Here is 
an admirable description of an ideal rural dwelling written 
more than a century ago : — ^ 

" I figure in my imagination a small house, of odd, 
irregular form, with various harmonious colouring, the effects 
of weather, time, and accident, the whole environed with 
smiling verdure, having a contented, cheerful, inviting aspect, 
and a door open to receive a gossip neighbour, or weary, 
exhausted traveller. There are many indescribable some- 
things that must necessarily combine to give to a dwelling 
this distinguishing character. A porch at entrance ; Irregular 
breaks in the direction of the walls, one part higher than 
the other ; various roofing of different materials, thatch 
particularly, boldly projecting ; fronts partly built of brick, 
partly weather-boarded, and partly brick-nogging dashed ; 
casement window lights, are all conducive and constitute Its 
features." 

Such Is a cottage which the poet and the painter loves, a 
type which is happily not extinct in modern England — 

Its roof with reeds and mosses covered o'er, 
And honeysuckles climbing round the door ; 
While mantling vines along its walls are spread, 
And clustering ivy decks the chimney head. 

Its garden Is rich with old-fashioned English flowers, and 
amongst them we notice roses, pansies, peonies, sweet- 
williams, and London Pride, which flourish In the herbaceous 
borders that line the approach to the cottage door. It is set 
in a framework that enhances its beauties. Dark woods 
form the background. In front there Is the village green, 
the centre of the amusements of old village life, whereon 
children are seen disporting themselves ; the old church is 
nigh at hand with its lofty spire. Other graceful dwellings 
cluster round the green, and the rude pond, wild hedgerows, 
and Irregular plantations complete the picture. 

1 Jn Essay on British Cottage Jrchitccturc, by James Malton, 1791^'. 

E 49 



i THE CHARM OF THE ENGLISH VILLAGE 

Of such a cottage the poet sings : — 

Close in the dingle of a wood 
Obscured with boughs a cottage stood ; 
Sweetbriar decked its lowly door, 
And vines spread all the summit o'er ; 
An old barn's gable end was seen 
Sprinkled with nature's mossy green, 
Hard on the right, from whence the flail 
Of thrasher sounded down the vale — - 
A vale where many a flow'ret gay 
Sipt a clear streamlet on its way — 
A vale above whose leafy shade 
The village steeple shews its head. 

Such is the pleasing picture of a rural home, the peculiar, 
beautiful, and picturesque feature of English rural scenery, 
where dwell 

Those calm delights that ask but little room. 

The illustrations show many such a gem of cottage archi- 
tecture gathered from many counties. The builders of these 
used no alien materials. They built surely and well with 
substances best suited for their purpose which the neigh- 
bourhood afforded. Stone, timber, flint, all were made to 
serve their purpose. In the region of good stone quarries 
of Gloucestershire and Somerset we find the beautiful cottages 
at Winson, and the charming bay in a cottage at Montacute. 
This latter house, with its armorial bearings carved beneath 
the upper window, has doubtless seen better days, and was 
probably a house of some pretensions. Kent and Essex, 
where good building stone is scarce, furnish fine examples 
of half-timbered cottages. 

It is interesting to notice how these timber houses were 
built. The materials were inexpensive and easily procurable. 
The surrounding woods supplied plenty of oak timber, and 
earth and sand, straw or reeds were all that was needed. 
Sometimes a solid foundation of stone or brick was built in 



COTTAGE ARCHITECTURE 

order to protect the woodwork from the damp earth, and 
on this were placed horizontal beams. At the corners of the 
house very stout upright posts were erected, which were 
formed from the trunk of a tree with the root left on it, and 



L V 




A COTTAGE BAY, MOXTACUTE, SOMERSET 



placed upward, this root curving outwards so as to form a 
support for the upper storey. A curious and important 
feature of these old houses is their projecting storeys. I 
have never heard a satisfactory reason given for this strange 
construction. I can understand that in towns where space 



''■^o; 




COTTAGE ARCHITECTURE 



was scarce it would have been an advantage to be able to 
increase the eize of the upper rooms, but when there was no 
restriction as to the ground to be occupied by the house and 
land was plentiful, it is difficult to discover why our fore- 
fathers constructed their houses on this plan. Possibly the 




PART OF A HOUSE AT NEWPORT, ESSEX 

fashion was first established of necessity in towns, and the 
traditional mode of building was continued in the country. 
Some say that by this means our ancestors tried to protect 
the lower part of the house from the weather ; others with 
some ingenuity suggest that these projecting storeys were in- 
tended to form a covered walk for passengers in the streets, and 

53 



THE CHARM OF THE ENGLISH VILLAGE 

to protect them from the slops which the careless housewife of 
Elizabethan times cast recklessly from the upstairs windows. 
Projecting upper storeys are not earlier than the reign of 
Elizabeth. Their weight necessitated a strong foundation. 

We have constructed our foundations, horizontal timber 
base, and corner posts, the roots of the trunks being- 
cut into brackets both on the outside and inside of the 




POUNDSRRIDGE, KENT 



house. These strong and massive angle-posts were often 
richly carved and moulded. Other upright posts were 
erected along the base about seven feet apart. These hori- 
zontal timbers were fastened, socketed, or mortised into 
the upright beams so as to form square openings, which 
were divided into smaller squares by less stout timbers. 
Then the foundations of the floor of the upper rooms were 
constructed by beams laid across the tops of the upright 
beams. The floor of this upper section of the house pro- 

5+ 



-^N---r 




THE CHARM OF THE ENGLISH VILLAGE 




CONSTRUCTION OF KOOF 



jected about two feet beyond that of the lower. Sometimes 
the projection was confined to one or two sides of the houses, 
but frequently it extended on all the sides. The upper storey 
was constructed in an exactly similar fashion, and the timbers 
of the roof were then placed in position. Usually beams 
^^^ spanned the upper 

<;^^*^/^^^s. storey, and at their 

centre an upright post, 
called a "king- post," 
^ was erected, which sup- 
ported a cross-beam 
which was held in posi- 
tion by braces and fastened at the ends to the slanting beams 
of the roof. 

A pleasing characteristic of some of the Kent cottages and 
farm-houses is the sunken central bay. The two outer bays 
have projecting upper storeys ; the central bay has not. The 
eaves of the roof extend the whole length of the building, 
and that portion over the central bay is supported by curved 
braces. 

Mr. Ellis, a practical and experienced craftsman, suggests^ 
there were three types of these half-timbered houses, to which 
he has given the names Post and Pan, Transom Framed, and 
Intertie Framed work. Frequently these types are varied 
and sometimes combined in the same building. The Post 
and Pan style is the earliest, and consists of a post and a 
panel placed alternately and equally spaced. Upright posts 
were placed between the horizontal ground sill and the head- 
beam which supported the roof, the spaces between these 
vertical posts being filled with clay or wattle and daub. 
These posts at first were fixed close together, but by degrees 
the builders obtained confidence, set their posts wider apart, 
and held them together by transoms. This led them to 
adopt the Transom Frame construction, the walls being now 

^ In Modern Practical Carpentry, by George Ellis (Batsford, 1906). 

56 



COTTAGE ARCHITECTURE 



composed of vertical and horizontal timbers forming larger 
square or oblong openings. Some of them were used for 
doors and windows, and the others filled in with interlaced 
hazel-sticks covered with plaster or with brick-nogging. 
In order to strengthen the framework straight or curved 
beams were introduced at the angles, the latter being formed 
from the large limbs 
of trees sawn in two. 
Intertie Framework 
was a kind of re- 
versal of the Tran- 
som style. Strong 
uninterrupted hori- 
zontal beams were 
its foundation, the 
vertical posts being 
f r a m e d between 
them. Much skill ts^iieM' 
and ingenuity were 0^.(^3^^<lS^ 
displayed in the 
decoratinor ot the 

o 

panels. 

A good example 
of cottages built in 
the manner which 

I have described is given in the illustration of the houses 
at Brenchley, Kent (p. 52), a county famous for its half- 
timbered dwelling-places. We notice the overhanging upper 
storey, the upright timbers placed close together, a sign of 
early building, the sunken central bay, tiled roof, and the 
little dormer windows jutting out therefrom, which break 
the long expanse of roof and add to its picturesqueness. 
The portion of the house shown in the illustration is built 
in three bays. A bay was the standard of architectural 
measurement, and houses were sold or let by the bay. A 

57 







VARIETIES OF WALLING FROM HANTS 
AND DORSET 



THE CHARM OF THE ENGLISH VILLAGE 

bay measured roughly sixteen feet, and was the length re- 
quired in farm buildings for the standing of two pairs of 
oxen. The view of part of the cottage at Newport, Essex 
(p. S3)) shows a very fine example. The complete house is an 
early example of the Kentish type of sunken central bay, as 
already described (p. ^6), of which the upper storey projects 
considerably beyond the lower. The upright timbers placed 








BRICK AND FLINT COTTAGES, READING STREET, KENT 



close together again point to an early date, and it will be 
noticed that the interstices are filled in with thin bricks or 
tiles arranged in herring-bone fashion, like the stones of 
Saxon buildings.' There is a cottage at Lyme Regis where 
this arrangement is seen, and in Kent there are numerous 
instances of this pleasing variety. The grey oak and the 
red brick harmonise well together. Flint and stone in 

1 Herring-bone work was formerly considered a characteristic of Saxon 
architecture, but it can be seen also in Norman walls. 

-.8 










^^^H I 






MANSELL LACY, HEREFORDSHIRE 



THE CHARM OF THE ENGLISH VILLAGE 

It- 
chequered squares are not uncommon in the latter county. 
The panelled window in the upper storey of the Newport 
cottage retains some Gothic features, and beneath it there 
is a curious carving of a king and queen sitting and startled 
by the strains of a celestial choir. One angel is playing on 
a harp and the other apparently on an organ. 

Another fine Kentish example is shown, a cottage, now an 
inn, at Poundsbridge (p. 54). The initials of the builder 
are recorded, and also, happily, the date of its construction, 
1593. It is an excellent example of a half-timbered house. The 
cottage at Great Chesterford (p. ^ ^) is remarkable for the elabo- 
rate decoration of the plaster which was accomplished in 1692, 
and is probably later than the house itself. This ornamentation 
is called Pargetting, to which we shall refer again presently. 

The appearance of our cottages has been much altered 
since they left the hands of the sixteenth-century craftsman. 
One peculiarity of the oak timbers is that they often shrink. 
Hence the joints came apart, and being exposed to the 
weather became decayed. In consequence of this the build- 
ings settled, and new methods had to be devised in order 
to make them weatherproof. In order to keep out the rain 
the villagers sometimes, especially in Surrey, hung the walls 
with tiles which have various shapes, a common one being 
semicircular. Artists love to depict these tile-hung houses, 
to which age imparts a beautiful colour. Other methods for 
preserving these timber-framed cottages were to cover them 
with deal boarding or to plaster the walls. Hence beneath 
an outer coating of tile or plaster or boards there remains 
an old timber-framed house, the construction of which we 
have tried to describe. 

The mortar used in these old buildinofs is very stronor and 
good. An old poet tells of 

The morter is maked so well, 
So mai no man hit brcke 
Wiz no stele. 
60 







-^^.'^Vvv 



"^ 









^-*i^ 















■ri 



/ 



ARROTS MORTON, WORCESTERSHIRE 



THE CHARM OF THE ENGLISH VILLAGE 

In order to strengthen the mortar used in old Sussex and 
Surrey houses and elsewhere, the process of " galleting " or 
"garneting" was adopted. The bricklayers used to decorate 
the rather wide or uneven mortar joint with small pieces of 
black ironstone stuck into the mortar. "Galleting" dates 




HINXTON, CAMBRIDGESHIRE 



back to Jacobean times, and is not to be found in sixteenth- 
century work. 

There is often a great variety of walling in the southern 
counties. Stone is combined with brick and brick with flint 
in a remarkable manner. Examples of this are shown in 
our illustrations (p. 57), noticed by our artist in Hants and 
Dorset. At Binscombe there are cottages built of rough 
Bargate stone with brick dressings. In the neighbourhood of 

62 



COTTAGE ARCHITECTURE 

Petworth you will see brick used for the label-mouldings and 
strings and arches, while the walls and mullions and door- 
ways are constructed of stone. Our artist has sketched 
some remarkable examples of brick and flint cottages at 
Reading Street, Kent (p. 58). 




r^-r. 



COTTAGE TORCH, UPTON SNODSBURY, WORCESTERSHIRE 



Sussex houses are often whitewashed and have thatched 
roofs, but sometimes Horsham stone is used. This stone 
easily flakes into plates like thick slates, and forms large grey 
flat slabs on which "the weather works like a great artist in 
harmonies of moss, lichen, and stain. No roofing so com- 
bines dignity and homeliness, and no roofing, except possibly 
thatch (which, however, is short-lived), so surely passes into 

65 



THE CHARM OF THE ENGLISH VILLAGE 



the landscape."' It is to be regretted that this stone is no 
longer used for rooting-. The slabs are somewhat thick and 
heavy, und modern rafters are not adapted to bear their 
weight. If you want to have a roof of Horsham stone, you 
can only accomplish your purpose by pulling down an old 
house and carrying off the slabs. Perhaps the small Cotswold 
stone slabs are even more beautiful. Like the Sussex stones, 











S -c. J 



COTTAGE AT BEAU LIEU, HANTS 



these " Stonesfield slates," as they are called, have un- 
fortunately fallen into disuse for new buildings, but a praise- 
worthy effort is now being made to quarry them, and 
again render them available for building purposes. Old 
Lancashire and Yorkshire cottages have heavy stone roofs 
which somewhat resemble those fashioned with Horsham 
slabs. 

Very lovely are these country cottages ; peaceful, pic- 

^ Hig/Kvays aitd Byzvays in Sussex, by E. V. Lucas. 
64 



COTTAGE ARCHITECTURE 

turesque, pleasant, with their graceful gables and jutting 
eaves, altogether delightful. What could be more charming 
than that view of a group of cottages at Mansell Lacy, 
Herefordshire (p. 59), in its framework of dark trees, or 
the old half-timbered house at Abbots Morton, Worcester- 







•""-^ 






MARSTON SICCA, GLOUCESTERSHIRE 



shire (p. 61). Even the flat, monotonous country of Cam- 
bridgeshire is relieved by picturesque humble dwellings such 
as those drawn by our artist at Hinxton (p. 62). 

We have seen several examples of tiled roofs. An old 
English red-tiled roof, when it has become mellowed by age 
with moss and lichen growing upon it, is one ot the great 
charms of an English landscape. 

Nothing shows better the skill and ingenuity of the old 
builders than the means they adopted to overcome peculiar 

F 65 



THE CHARM OF THE ENGLISH VILLAGE 

difficulties. The roofs ot cottages usually slope steeply in 
order that the rain may flow off easily. But these Sussex 
masons found that the heavy Horsham slates strained and 
dragged at the pegs and laths, and fell and injured the roof. 
So they decreased the slope of the roof, and the difficulty 
was obviated. However, as the rain did not flow off very 




COTTAGES AT GREAT TEW, OXON 



well, they were obliged to use cement and stop with 
mortar. 

There is a great variety in old ridge-tiling, but the 
humbler abodes usually have simple bent tiles or the plain 
half-round as a finish to the roof. 

The ends of the gables are often adorned with barge- 
boards. A simple but effective example is shown in the 
illustration of the cottage porch at Upton Snodsbury, in 
Worcestershire, on page 62. Early examples have their edges 

66 



COTTAGE ARCHITECTURE 

cut into cusps, or pierced with tracery in the form of trefoils 
or quatrefoils. In Jacobean times the builders placed a finial 
at the ridge and pendants at the eaves, and the perforated 
designs were more fantastic. Even poor-looking houses have 




^1^^ 






£-1?/ ^ 



THATCHING AT CODFORD ST. PETER, WILTSHIRE 



elaborately carved or moulded bargeboards. In old houses 
the bargeboards project about a foot from the surface of the 
wall. In the eighteenth century, when weather-tiling was 
introduced, the distances between the wall and the barge- 
boards was diminished, and ultimately they were placed flush 



THE CHARM OF THE ENGLISH VILLAGE 

with it. Elaborately carved boards were discarded, and the 
ends of the gables moulded. 

The most picturesque mode of roofing is thatch, and its 
glories and beauties have often been sung by poets and 
depicted by artists. It is charming in its youth, maturity, 
and decay. Thatch is not so usual as it was formerly. Good 




CALBOURNE, ISLE OF WIGHT 



Straw is not so plentiful. Farmers grow less corn, and the 
straw broken by thrashing machines is not so good tor 
thatching as that thrashed by the flail. The skill of the old 
thatcher produced most artistic effects. The author of an 
article on the "Old Thatched Rectory" bids us to 

" notice the exquisitely neat finish of the roof-ridge, the 
most critical point of the whole : the geometrical patterns 
formed by the spars just below, which help, by their grip, to 
hold it in its place for years : the faultless symmetry of the 

68 



COTTAGE ARCHITECTURE 



slopes, the clean-cut edges, the gentle curves of the upper 
windows which rise above the 'plate' ; and, better still, the 
embrace which, as with the encircling arms of a mother, 
it gives to the deep-planted, half-hidden dormer window 
in the middle /f the roof, nestling lovingly within it, and by- 
its very look inviting to 
peacefulness and repose. 
Noie, too, the change of 
colouring in the work as 
time goes on ; the rich sun- 
set tint, beautiful as the locks 
of Ceres, when the work is 
just completed ; the warm 
brown ot the succeeding 
years ; the emerald green, 
the symptom of advancing 
age, when lichens and moss 
have begun to gather thick 
upon it ; and ' last scene of 
all, which ends' its quiet, un- 
eventful history, when winds 
and rain have done their 
work upon it, the rounded 
meandering ridges, and the 
sinuous deep -cut furrows, 
which, like the waters of a 
troubled sea, ruffle its once 
smooth surface."^ 



The varied beauties of 
thatch are well seen in the 
illustrations. Noticethe lovely 
cottage at Beaulieu (p. 64), 

with its thatch encirclins: the little dormer windows and the 
beautiful curves of the roof. The humbler dwelling at 
Marston Sicca (p. 65) has a finely wrought thatch ingeniously 
extended to embrace the shed. Great Tew has the credit of 

' "The Old Thatched Rectory and its Birds" {N'uirtrrnth Cenfury), by 
R. Bosworth Smith. 

69 




CAVENDISH, SUFFOLK 



COTTAGE ARCHITECTURE 

being one of the prettiest villages in England. It lies amongst 
the steep, well-timbered hills in Mid-Oxfordshire. All the 
cottages are built of a local stone, which has turned to a grey 
yellow or rich ochre, and are either steeply thatched or roofed 
with thinnish slabs of the same yellowish grey stone, about the 
size of slates, and called by the vulgar "slats." The illustra- 
tion (p. 66) shows some of these delightful dwellings. The 
diamond-paned windows have stone muUions with drip-stones 
over them, and over the doors are stone cornices with span- 
drels. No one cottage repeats another. There is no slate or 
red brick in the village. Honeysuckle, roses, clematis, ivy, 
japonica beautify the cottage walls, in front of which are 
bright, well-kept gardens behind trim hedges. The old 
stocks still stand on the village green, as they stood when 
Lord Falkland rode from his home here to fight for King 
Charles and die at the battle of Newbury. 

Other examples of thatched cottages are shown : a grace- 
fully shaped thatch at Codford St. Peter (p. 67), a street of 
Isle of Wight cottages at Calbourne (p. 68), and the charming 
little dormer window of a cottage at Cavendish, Suffolk (p. 69). 

Burwash is a pretty Sussex village in a region famous 
for good cottages. It has memories of smugglers, of a 
genial rector who wrote a book about Sussex folk and 
Sussex, and of a learned poetical curate who became Pro- 
fessor ot Poetry at Oxford. Our artist has given us a sketch 
of the village street with its broach-spired church. The 
house on the right is superior to the others, and possesses 
the appearance of a Queen Anne building. It was built 
in 1699, '^''^'^ has inside some fine plaster-work, with grace- 
fully modelled birds, over the staircase. 



71 



DETAILS, DECORATION, AND INTERIORS 
OF COTTAGES 

THERE is much else that may he noted in the 
details of cottage architecture which deserves to 
be recorded. Our village builders were not con- 
tent to leave the humble dwellings bare and un- 
ci 

adorned, but loved to add to them ornamental details such 
as their good taste suggested. This is especially noticeable 
in the decoration of the plaster-covered panels framed by 
the timbers that formed the framework of their houses. 
The men of the seventeenth century set themselves to 
embellish that which we moderns are content to leave per- 
fectly blank. Pargetted work and plaster work are especial 
features of timber-framed houses. The usual method was 
to press the plaster into a concave mould and then transfer 
it to the plastered surface when still moist. Our artist has 
made some sketches of these external plaster details taken 
from houses in Hertfordshire, Essex, and Suffolk. It is well 
that all such pargetting work should be carefully drawn and 
recorded, as much of it is fast perishing or being destroyed. 
Some simple examples found in Berkshire are shown (p. 75). 
These consist simply of straight or circular lines, and no 
pressing frame or special apparatus was required for their pro- 
duction ; but the effect is produced by the contrast of rough- 
cast and smooth plaster, and shows the pride which the 
builders took in their work and their endeavour with 
ordinary tools to produce somic attempt at ornamentation. 
They loved also to stamp their work with their initials, 

72 









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EXTERNAL PLASTER DETAILS (pARGETTING) FROM HERTS, 
ESSEX, AND SUFFOLK 



THE CHARM OF THE ENGLISH VILLAGE 




and very many houses have carved in stone the date of their 
construction and the initial letters of the names of the 

builders. Heraldic arms also are 
sculptured on the fine stone buildings 
in the regions of good quarries, and we 
give an illustration of a good coat-of- 
arms found on a house at Winch- 
combe, whence the famous "Jack 
of Newbury," the rich clothier of 
Henry VII I's time, derived his 
family name. Over the door of a 
substantial house at Stanton-in-the- 
Peak, Derbyshire, we see the initials " E. G. L." with the date 
1664 (p. 76). It is a fine door worthy of a mansion, with its 
flight of steps and handsome tympanum 
and hood-moulding. There is much 
dignity and solid work about many of 
these cottage doors. They retain the 
Gothic spirit, with their Tudor arches 
and Perpendicular hood-moulding. Possi- 
bly the doorways at Croscombe (p. 77) and 
Marston Magna, Somerset (p. 79, formerly a window) are 
early sixteenth-century work, and belong to buildings which 

have seen better days. 

Cottage doors are always open 
and invite us to enter. We may 
still see ingle-nooks and open fire- 
places. Our artist has discovered some 
charming examples of these attrac- 
tive features. That one at Garnacott, near Bideford (p. 78), is 
very characteristic with its cauldron and kettle and dogs. 
A beam runs along the top of the fire-place, stretching across 
the opening from which a short curtain hangs. This repre- 
sents the typical kind of cottage fire-place which is already 
rare and is rapidly becoming extinct, for though picturesque, 

74 





DETAILS, DECORATION AND INTERIORS 

it does not commend itself to the modern housewife, who 
greatly prefers the iron "kitchener" or range for her cook- 
ing. This example shows the old cloth above the mantel- 
piece, and the seat and rush-bottomed chair in harmony with 
the rest of the fittings. Above this is a shelf blackened by 
the smoke of ages whereon some of the cottager's treasures 
repose, kettles and cooking-pots, and possibly modern nick- 
nacks, cups bearing inscriptions " A Present from Brighton " 




;-|^ "^^B '\^ m l^ lM i^' ' ' 



3-. V^ 





' ^ 


1 

-4. 


ifli 



PARGETTING IN BERKSHIRE 



or "For a Good Girl," in conjunction with impossible milk- 
maids, shepherds, and shepherdesses, and dogs and cats with 
great staring eyes, and miniature dolls' houses, and mugs 
and pigs of divers patterns. The window at the back of 
the fire-place is curious, and is occasionally found opening 
out of the ingle-nook. Frequently these old fire-places 
communicate with a small oven built out from the house. 
This is often semicircular and ingeniously roofed with tiles 
or slates. It was a custom almost universal in former times 



75 



THE CHARM OF THE ENGLISH VILLAGE 

for the cottagers to bake their own bread, and it is still 
practised in remote districts, such as Shropshire and in the 
Welsh hills, where even modern cottages are sometimes 
built with ovens. 








"A*"^ ' 



jT ^' 



STANTON-IN-THE-PEAK, DERBYSHIRE 



Miss Jekyll has made a wonderful collection of objects 
discovered in country cottages in West Surrey, and has 
presented them to the museum of the local archaeological 
society at Guildford. Her book Old fVest Surrey is a faithful 
and valuable guide to the contents of cottages. She has 

-6 




DETAILS, DECORATION AND INTERIORS 

found cooking implements •". -- 

pierced with crosses, which js 



probably came from some / 
monastic house, and count- 
less objects far too numerous 
to mention. Our illustration 
of the Marston Magna ingle- 
nook (p. 80) shows a good 
specimen of the chimney- 
crane and hanger, which ex- 
hibit the splendid work of 
the local blacksmith. The 
crane turns on its pivot. The 
hanger moves along the top 
bar of the crane, and can be 
raised or lowered, and on 

1 , 1 1 .1 COTTAGE DOORWAY, CROSCOMBE, 

its hook rests the kettle or ' 

SOMERSET 

cooking-pot. One of our 

illustrations reveals the primitive method 
of illumination, the rushlight, which was 
used lonor after the dawn of the nineteenth 
century. Rushes were peeled and then 
drawn through melted grease, and then left 
to dry. The rushlight holders have a 
movable jaw at the top and a fixed one. 
The movable jaw has a knob at the end. 
In one of the illustrations given this 
knob has been converted into a candle- 
' socket. Many are the other curious im- 
plements which old cottages disclose. 

We glance at a delightful window in 
the quaint old town of Burford (p. 81). I 
dare not call it a village, though it is but 
a small place ; but it has had a great his- 
RusHLiGHT HOLDERS tory, and is one of the most picturesque 

11 





COTTAGE FIRE-PLACE, GARNACOTT (nEAR BIDEFORD), NORTH DEVON 



DETAILS, DECORATION AND INTERIORS 



and interesting little towns in England. That "windowed 
niche" looks very attractive with its muUions set in a 
curved bay. Not less lovely is the 
cottage window at Spratton, North- J^Jf^- 
ants (p. 82), viewed from outside, "^j 
adorned with comely creepers, stone ; 
mullions, and diamond panes ; and 
there is an interesting cottage window 
at Sutton Courtney, Berkshire (p. 82), 
which is of a classical Renaissance 
character, and makes us wonder how 
it managed to get into this rather re- 
mote Berkshire village. 

A great deal may be said about 
farm-house and cottage chimneys, 
their construction and development. 
An immense amount of ingenuity 
was exercised in their construction. 
In the older houses there is often a ^ 

COTTAGE DOORWAY, MARS- 

great central chimney, and all the ^on magna, somerset 

flues are placed together, crowned 

by the shafts. A good example is shown on page 69. The 
builders did not aim at utility alone, 
but strove to add beauty and diversity 
by using moulded bricks, numerous 
angles and projecting courses. The 
thinness ot the old bricks and the 
thickness of the mortar assisted them in 
producing a picturesque effect. 

The most common form of cottage 
chimney is that which is placed at the 
end or side of a house, and is usually a 
large structure. If the broad part 
reaches above the height of the ceiling 

of the ground floor you will probably find a bacon-loft, 

79 








THE CHARM OF THE ENGLISH VILLAGE 

wherein some sides of bacon are being smoked. The 
chimney, beginning with its straight upright base, has 
a steep slope, sometimes covered with tiles, then another 

/. -. - - 




MARSTON MAGNA, SOMERSET 



straight piece, then an arrangement of brick steps, repeated 
again until the chimney is ready for its shaft with its pro- 
jecting courses, and finished with a comely 
pot, or a "bonnet" fashioned ot red tiles. 
Great pains was often taken to adorn the 
|\ head, and the effect is wonderfully fine, the 
p-^ means employed natural and simple and 
unaffected. 

A coTSWOLD The illustration (p. 79) shows the stack 

GABLE FiNiAL of a Cotswold cottage retaining traces of 

80 




DETAILS, DECORATION AND INTERIORS 

Gothic influence. It has an octagonal shaft pierced with 
quatrefoil openings and the remains ot a pyramidal roof. 




— ^^"^^ .4 



A COTTAGE WINDOW, BURFORD, OXON 



The chimney cornices in the Cotswolds often have elabo- 
rately decorated architrave and frieze, enriched with sunk 
patterns, raised diamonds or 
The 




^, other devices. 



w 



hole 



district abounds with grand 
stone-built houses, beautiful 
types of building, simple yet 
strong, which owe their origin to the wealth 

G 8l 



..- ■■ 


M'' 


i WE 


\ I7I0 ; 


i 



THE CHARM OF THE ENGLISH VILLAGE 




and skill of the great 
clothiers and woolmen 
who flourished here in 
olden days. We admire 
§ '_ their fine stone porches 
~" and tour-centred arched 






^11*%. 




c^ 



A COTTAGE WINDOW, SPRATTON, 
NORTHANTS 



doorways, the curious and 
splendidly wrought iron- 
work of hinge and latch, 
handle and casement- 
fasteners, the mullioned 
bay and oriel windows 
with their lead lattice 
glazinof and diamond 
panes, the decorated 
gables, and many other 

attractive features. A whole chapter would not record all their 

beauties, and the reader 

who seeks additional 

information is referred 

to Mr. Dawber and 

Mr. Davie's book on 

the OM Cof/cjges, Farm- 
houses^ and other Stone 

Buildings in the Cotswohi 

District^ wherein he will 

find all that he needs. 
We have ling-ered 

perhaps too long amid 

the cottages, and must 

now pass on to observe 




other interesting fea- 
tures of our village. 



A COTTAGE WINDOW, SUTTON COURTNEY, 
BERKSHIRE 



VI 
VILLAGE GARDENS 

WE have some noble gardens in our village. 
The squire's garden was once visited by that 
great garden-lover, John Evelyn, who states 
that " the .o-ardens and waters are as elegant 
as 'tis possible to make a flat by art and Industrie and no 
meane expense, my Lady being extraordinarily skill'd in the 
flowery part, and my Lord in diligence of planting." He 
praises the delicious and rare Iruit, the flne timber, and goes 
on to tell of the o-arden " so beset with all manner of sweete 
shrubbs that it perfumes the aire. The distribution also 
of the quarters, walks, and parterres is excellent ; the nur- 
series, kitchen-garden full of the most desirable plants ; two 
very noble orangeries, well furnished, but above all the 
canall and fish ponds ... in a word all that can make a 
country seate delightful." Happily this beautiful garden has 
escaped the devastation of such wretches as Capability Brown, 
Kent, and such desecrators, who in cultivating the taste 
of landscape gardening destroyed more than half the old 
gardens in England, and scarcely left us a decent hedge 
or sheltered walk to protect us from the east winds. 

The old rectory garden is worth visiting, with its fine 
terrace, and paths sheltered with high and thick box hedges, 
herbaceous borders, and old trees. Utility mingles itself 
with beauty, and the kitchen-garden blends itself with the 
flower-beds wherein many old English plants find a home. 
The grouping for colour cflx:ct is especially noticeable in this 

83 



THE CHARM OF THE ENGLISH VILLAGE 

moderately sized garden, which tells that the rector or his 
lady are not unskilled in floriculture. 

But the cottage gardens constitute one of the chief charms 
of the village. They show what wonderful results can be 
obtained on a small plot of ground with simple flowers. It 
was Charles Dickens who said that " in the culture of flowers 
there cannot, by their nature, be anything solitary or ex- 
clusive. The wind that blows over the cottage porch sweeps 
over the garden of the nobleman, and as the rain descends on 
the just and on the unjust, so it communicates to all gardens, 
both rich and poor, an interchange of pleasure and enjoy- 
ment." 

Poets in many ages have sung sweetly of the beauty of 
our cottage gardens, and none more sweetly than the late 
Poet Laureate, who tells their praises thus : — 

One look'd all rose tree, and another wore 

A close-set robe of jasmine sown with stars ; 

This had a rosy sea of gilliflowers 

About it ; this a milky way on earth, 

Like visions in the Northern Dreamer's heavens, 

A lily avenue climbing to the doors ; 

One, almost to the martin-haunted eaves, 

A summer burial deep in hollyhocks ; 

Each its own charm. 

When we return from visiting other lands, we notice with 
gratified eyes these wayside homely gardens, which are 
peculiarly English. Englishmen have always loved their 
gardens, and all classes share in this affection. It is not 
so with other European nations. You do not find abroad 
those flowers in cottage windows cherished so carefully 
through the winter months ; you do not see the thrifty 
Frenchman or German stealing from his potato ground or 
onion bed a nice broad space for the cultivation of flowers. 
Whereas in England you will scarcely find a cottage garden 
that is not gay and bright with beautiful flowers, or the 

84 







VI --" ' 



THE CHARM OF THE ENGLISH VILLAGE 



poorest labourer, however large his tamily may be, willing 
to sacrifice the plants in which he takes so great a pride. 

At all seasons of the year these cottage gardens look 
beautiful. Snowdrops and crocuses seem to rear their heads 
earlier in the springtime in their village plots than in the 
gardens of the great. Yellow and purple crocuses are there, 

and then a little later dog- 
tooth, white and purple 
violets, and yellow daffo- 
dils. My villagers have 
given me bunches ot vio- 
lets long before they grew 
in the rectory garden, save 
those Neapolitan ones that 
flourish in a frame. Prim- 
roses transplanted from the 
neiorhbourino[ woods are not 
despised. A few stray 
tulips begin to show them- 
selves, immensely prized 
by the cottager, and soon 
the wallflowers are in bloom 
filling the air with beauti- 
ful scent, and forget-me- 
nots reflect the blueness 
of the sky. Villagers love 
the simple polyanthus, and 
soon on the wall of the cottage is seen the red japonica 
in full flower. Then the roses come into bloom, and many 
a cottage can boast of its fine Gloire de Dijon or Marechal 
Niel or strong-growing crimson rambler. Clematis plants 
of various hues are seen on many a cottage wall, and 
ivy " that creepeth o'er ruins old" loves to cling to rustic 
dwelling-places, and sometimes clothes walls and thatch and 
chimney with its dark green leaves. The honeysuckle is a 

86 




A GARDEN ENTRANCE, CHALE- 
GREEN, ISLE OF WIGHT 



VILLAGE GARDENS 

favourite plant for climbing purposes. It covers the porch 
and sheds its rich perfume around, nor in the warmer parts 
of England is the vine unknown. 

The southern counties of England afford the most 
luxuriant examples of cottage gardens which form a con- 















^N^"V^V-.-~~-~-.y- ^-.•v^,^^^ , 



COTTAGE GARDEN ENTRANCE, STRETTON SUGWAS, HEREFORDSHIRE 



spicuous charm of our villages. Our artist discovered a 
delightful old garden at Trent, Dorset (p. 85), wherein count- 
less flowers have found a home and give a glowing patch of 
colour to the landscape. The Isle of Wight with its warm 
climate abounds in beautiful gardens. The illustration of a 
garden entrance at Chalegreen looks inviting, and we should 
like to mount the steps shaded by luxuriant yew and see all 
that lies beyond. We know of another beautiful little garden 

87 



THE CHARM OF THE ENGLISH VILLAGE 

at Shalfleet in the island, where there is a charming well- 
trimmed edging of box which surrounds a little path and 
central bed, wherein stocks and a carefully tended standard rose 
raises its beautiful head. Cottage garden paths are usually 













SOUTH WARNBOROUGH, HANTS 



made of gravel. In Sussex they are paved with large flat 
Horsham slabs of stone. Box-edgings are not uncommon, 
than which nothing can be more handsome or suitable. 

Nor are the flowers confined to the garden. You will 
scarcely find a cottage that has not some plants in the window 
which are tended with the greatest care, and are watered 
and washed so religiously that they flourish famously. 

88 






^^)t^^¥^?;«f^ 














■"•7 



A COTTAGE ENTRANCE, SULGRAVE, NORTHANTS 



THE CHARM OF THE ENGLISH VILLAGE 

The favourite flowers for window gardens are geraniums, 
hydrangeas, fuchsias, an occasional cactus or begonia, musk 
and balsam, and many others which obscure the light of day 
and make the cottage dark, but the peasant cares not for that 
it he can see his flowers. 

Old-fashioned flowers are the chief charm ot the cottage 
garden, and are prized by the true garden-lover far higher 
than bedding-out plants or the ordinary annuals. Nowhere 
do they flourish better than in the peasant's rustic pleasure- 
ground. As the summer advances we see the lilacs and 
laburnums, sweet-williams and tall white Madonna lilies, 
gillyflowers and love-lies-bleeding, the larkspur and the 
lupin, pinks and carnations, the ever-constant wallflowers, 
and the Canterbury bells. The everlasting-pea is ever wel- 
come in its cottage home, and dahlias are greatly prized, not 
the single ones so much as the old-fashioned, tight-growing 
formal kinds. 

Hardy annuals have in some rural gardens ousted the 
old-tashioned flowers. Nasturtiums and china-asters and 
stocks flourish where once the sweet-william and other 
herbaceous plants were regarded with delight. We hope 
that the rustics will return to their first love, and cherish 
again the old flowers which are the true glory of a rustic 
garden. 

Cottagers, though expert gardeners, are very often puzzled 
by the foreign names assigned to flowers, especially to roses, 
which they dearly love, and which are the chief glory of our 
gardens whether they be large or small. The roses them- 
selves would scarcely know their names when pronounced 
by our villagers, so strangely transformed and Anglicised are 
they. Thus the villagers twist the Gloire de Dijon into 
" Glory to thee John," and the rose named after the great 
rose-grower. Dean Reynolds Hole, is called Reynard's Hole. 
General Jacqueminot becomes in popular nomenclature 
General Jack-me-not, and the bright crimson Geant des 

90 



VILLAGE GARDENS 

Batailles becomes Gent of Battles. But the roses bloom 
no less beautifully on account ot this murdering of their 
names. 

The old favourite roses which you find in these gardens 




'r_'>i-^^^ — 



.y.-fvvVMWSX**!*^' .■.«t„^(l,' 



^.^.^^ ''i'^H.-va/\« 'X-i / . 



APPLETON, BUCKS 



are the Sweetbriar, the Cabbage, the York and Lancaster, 
the Moss, the old White Damask, the double white, brother 
of the pretty pink Maiden's Blush. But some cottagers are 
more ambitious, and obtain cuttings of many varieties of 
modern rose trees, and hybrids and Teas now flourish in 
the peasant's border as in the lord's rosarium. The love 

91 



THE CHARM OF THE ENGLISH VILLAGE 

of this flower is indeed the "one touch of nature which 
makes the whole world kin." 

Examples of the formal garden may be seen as we walk 
along our English roads. Box trees cut into fantastic shapes 
and clipped yews are occasionally met with. The trees are 
made to assume the appearance of peacocks with long flow- 




miiBSIIf!itm»!{aw< 



CUT HEDGE AND THATCHED VERANDAH, ACTON TRUSSEL, 
STAFFORDSHIRE 



ing tails or other strange shapes, and awkv/ard figures of 
men and animals. Happily the fashion of clipping and hack- 
ing trees is not universally followed, and except in some 
districts is rare in cottage gardens. In the country of West 
Herefordshire this practice is common, and there is a well- 
known example in the garden of the cottage just outside 
Haddon Hall. In the view of a cottage garden entrance 

92 



VILLAGE GARDENS 

at Stretton Sugwas, Herefordshire, on page 87, we see a 
very fierce peacock with flowing tail endeavouring to reach 
across the path to peck some food from a cylindrical-looking 
vessel on the opposite side. The trees are admirably clipped. 
And at South Warnborough, Hants, our artist has discovered 
some good examples of fantastic clipping (p. 88). The 
cottage entrance in the village of Sulgrave, Northants (p. 89), 
guarded by two stately cypresses, is very imposing, and the 
raising of the garden above the road with the flight of steps 
worthy of a rustic Haddon Hall romance adds to the effect. 
At Appleton the cottage entrance is overshadowed by two 
yew trees growing into one large mass (p. 91), a curious 
example of differing treatment when we compare it with the 
Northamptonshire example. A third example, again quite 
distinct in its arrangement and yet equally attractive, is the 
pretty cut hedge and thatched verandah at Acton Trussel, 
Staffordshire, in which the space under the sweeping cut 
hedge is further shaded by large round shrubs ; a spot very 
shady in summer and sheltered in winter. 

Here is a description of a Berkshire village garden told 
by one who knows her county well and the quaint ways of 
her rural neighbours. She tells ot the glories of 

" the Red House which gained its title in its youth. A 
century of wear and weather has toned the bricks until they 
look almost colourless by contrast with the rich, crimson 
flowers of the pyrus japonica that is trained beneath the 
lower windows. The upper portion of the walls is covered 
by a vine, among the yellowing leaves of which hang, during 
autumn, tight bunches of small purple grapes that supply 
the wherewithal for grape wine. At one side of the narrow, 
railed-in space separating the front door from the street, 
stands an old pear tree, loaded every season with fruit which, 
owing to its ' iron ' quality, escapes the hands of boy- 
marauders. The little spot reflects all the tints of the rain- 
bow save in the depth of winter. The first buds to pierce 
the brown earth and brighten its dull surface are such 

93 



THE CHARM OF THE ENGLISH VILLAGE 

tender blossoms as the snowdrop, hepatica, and winter 
aconite. To them succeed crocuses, hyacinths, tulips, the 
scale of colour mounting ever higher as the season advances, 
until it culminates in a blaze ot scarlet, blue, and yellow, 
that to be fully appreciated should flame against grey, vener- 
able walls or light up the dark sweep ot some cedar-studded 
lawn. The square garden behind the house slopes to the 
brook near the bridge, and is shut in on two sides by high 
mud walls half hidden beneath manes of ivy. Along the 
stream — bordered just there by willows — is a broad band 
of turf flanked by nut bushes that shelter each a rustic seat, 
and sparkling in spring with clumps of daffodils tossing their 
heads in sprightly dance. When the sun is shining through 
their golden petals and burnishing the surface ot the water, 
when it is brightening the pink willow-buds and revealing 
unsuspected tints in the mossy trunks of the apple-trees 
beyond the brook, that little strip of grass is a joy, the 
remembrance of which abides throughout the year, until the 
changing months make it once again something more than 
a memory.' 

Cottage gardens, of course, combine utility with beauty, 
and are sorely missed, when our rustics, attracted by the 
glamour ot the town, desert the country in order to seek 
their fortunes in the busy city. The loss of their garden 
is one of the first steps in their rude awakening. Much 
else might be written about the attractions ot our gardens, 
whether large or small ; but enough, perhaps, has been told 
of their beauties and perfections which form so characteristic 
and charmino; a feature of Encjlish village life. 

1 This garden is in the village of West Hendred, Berks, and is described 
by Miss Hayden in her book Travels Round Our Village. 



9+ 



A 



VII 

INNS, SHOPS, AND MILLS 

N important house in every village is the inn — a 
hostel such as Izaak Walton loved to sketch, 
" an honest alehouse where we shall find a cleanly 
room, lavender in the windows, and twenty 
ballads stuck about the wall, where the linen looks white and 
smells of lavender, and a hostess cleanly, handsome, and 
civil." Perhaps our village, if it lies along one ot the old 
coaching roads, has more than one such hostelry, and the 
"Blue Lion" frowns on the "Brown Bull," anci the "Raven" 
croaks at the " Bell." Once they were large and flourishing 
inns, but their glory has departed. When coaches rattled 
through the village these inns had a thriving trade, and 
imagination pictures to our minds the glowing life of the 
coaching age. We see again the merry coach come in, the 
" Mercury," or the " Regulator," or the " Lightning," ac- 
cording to the road we choose or the ao;c in which we are 
pleased to travel. We see the strangely mixed company that 
hangs about the door, the poor travellers trying to thaw 
themselves before the blazingf hearth, the o;ood cheer that 
awaits them — huo^e rounds of beet, monstrous veal pies, 
mighty hams, and draughts of good old English ale brewed 
in yon ruined brcwhouse, and burgundy and old port. The 
present landlord can produce, perhaps, some bread and 
cheese and a glass of ale — that is all ; and one solitary nag 
stands in the stables where then there was stablinor for fittv 

95 



INNS, SHOPS, AND MILLS 

horses, and the grass grows green in the stable-yard, and 
silence reigns in the deserted chambers. 

But even in their decay how picturesque these old inns 
are. The red-tiled roof, the deep bay window, the swinging 
signboard, the huge horse-trough, the pump and outdoor 
settle, torm a picture which artists love to sketch ; while 
within the old-fashioned fire-place, with seats on each side in 
the ingle-nook, and the blazing log fire in the dog-grate, are 
cheering sights to the weary traveller. In his travels in 
search ot the picturesque our artist has found many such 
inns, and some of them he has sketched. There is the fine 
old inn at Deane, Northants, with the quaint sign the " Sea 
Horse." What the sea-horse is doing in the centre of 
England is not very evident, unless heraldry can help us to 
a conclusion. The old house at Croscombe, Somerset (p. 98), 
was formerly the First and Last Inn, a coaching hostel, now 
no longer needed. Its every detail is charming, and before 
it races the water over a fine stone mill-dam. Two charming 
interiors our artist has given us, the Union Inn at Flyford 
Flavel (p. 99), with its open fire-place into which a mociern 
grate has been inserted, the old-fashioned settle and corre- 
sponding details ; and the kitchen of an old Bedfordshire 
inn (p. loi), which has the unusual well in one corner, that 
has not yet given way to a pump. 

The signboard that swings outside the inn has many 
stories to tell as it creaks in the wind. Some of these signs 
are remarkable for the exquisite ironwork that supports them 
and tells of the skill of the villao^e blacksmiths of former 
days. The man who forged such beautiful specimens ot 
ironwork had the heart and mind and hand of the true 
artist, though he were but a simple village blacksmith. The 
signs, too, at least the old ones, are well painted, and some 
are constructed of carved wood. A finely carved bunch 
ot grapes, of eighteenth-century work, hangs before the 
Red Lion Inn at Milford, Surrey, and a study ot signs 
H 97 




AN OLD HOUSE (FORMERLY THE FIRST AND LAST INn) 
AND MILL DAM, CROSCOMBE, SOMERSET 



THE CHARM OF THE ENGLISH VILLAGE 

shows that there must have been a large number of skilful 
carvers of this bold kind of work about a hundred and fifty 
years ago. They had plenty of opportunity for exercising 
their art, as signs were not confined to inns. Unless our 
artist has improved the swan and the bull (see page 103), the 
old art of sign-painting has not quite disappeared. There is 
one inn in England which can boast ot a signboard painted by 
two Royal Academicians, the " St. George and the Dragon " 
at Wargrave. Mr. Leslie, r.a., and Mr. Broughton, r.a., 
used to stay at the inn sometimes when they were on sketch- 
ing bent, and requited the landlord for his attention by 
repainting his sign. St. George appears on one side regaling 
himself with a tankard on his way to fight the dragon, and 
on the other the hero-saint is refreshing himself after the 
combat. One of the most extraordinary signs in England is 
shown on page 103. The inn is the "Fox and Hounds" 
at Barley, Hertfordshire, and the sign is a pack of hounds 
hunting a fox, followed by two huntsmen. The whole 
history of sign-boards invites digression, but space forbids 
a repetition of what I have tried to tell before in another 
book that deals with the antiquities of English villages, and 
not so much with their outward charm. ^ 

Near the inn stands the shop of the blacksmith, who is 
a very important person in the village community. We 
have seen some specimens of his forefathers' work, and 
though I question whether he could fashion such delicate and 
ornate supports for signboards, such wonderful ornamental 
ironwork, he is a very clever " all-round " man. He not 
only can shoe horses, but repair all kinds of agricultural 
implements, mend clocks, cut hair, and even in olden days 
he used to draw teeth. Our village blacksmith is a most 
accomplished person, and can turn his hand to anything. 
The village blacksmith has been immortalised in verse, and 

1 English Villages, by P. H. Ditchlit-ld (Mt-tliucn .\: Co.). 
100 



THE CHARM OF THE ENGLISH VILLAGE 

a picture of his smithy drawn by a skilful hand. Longfellow's 
poem is so familiar that it need not be quoted. 

Still the light of the forge gleams out in the dusk of a winter's 
day, and the children try to catch " the burning sparks that 
fly like chaff from a thrashing-floor." "Henry Moat, r.s.s.," 
who works at Sturry, Kent (see page 104), is a very up-to- 
date smith, and his shop is spruce and neat, unlike most 
village smithies, where all sorts of old iron is scattered about, 
and where sometimes you may find some curios and treasures. 

The village shop is a wondrous place wherein you can buy 
anything from a bootlace to a side of bacon. Sweets for 
children, needles and thread for the busy housewife, butter 
and cheese, tea and ginger-beer — endless is the assortment 
of goods which the village shop provides. Whiteley's in 
London can scarcely rival its marvellous productiveness. 
Very old and quaint is the building. There is one at Ling- 
field, Surrey, which has performed its useful mission since 
the fifteenth century. It has a central recess with braces 
to support the roof-plate. Formerly there was an open 
shop-front with wooden shutters hinged at the bottom ot 
the sills, on the tops of the stall-boards, and which could 
be turned down in the daytime at right angles with the 
front, and used for displaying wares. In some cases there 
were two shutters, the lower one hinged in the bottom sill, 
as I have described, while the upper one was hinged to the 
top, and when raised formed a pent-house roof. Shake- 
speare alludes to this arrangement when he says, in Love's 
Labour s Lost^ " With your hat pent-house like o'er the shop 
of your eyes." The door was divided into two halves like 
a modern stable door. 

Village industries are fast dying out, if they are not all 
dead and buried. In the olden days when the cloth trade 
was flourishing in Berkshire each village was alive with busy 
industrial enterprise. Each cottage had its spinning-wheel, 
and every week the clothiers of Reading and Newbury used 



BARLEY, HERTS 



KNOWLE, 
WARWICKSHIRE 




CLARE, SUFFOLK 



OLD INN SIGNS 



THE CHARM OF THE ENGLISH VILLAGE 

to send out their men amoncr the villages, their packhorses 
laden with wool, and every week they returned, their pack 
laden with yarn ready for the loom. We give a view of the 
village of East Hendred, which was a prosperous clothing 
centre. There is a picturesque field near the church where 
terraces still remain, which were used for drying cloth, and 




THE BLACKSMITHS SHOP, STURRV, KENT 

a piece of land called " Fulling Mill Meer," where — so 
Mr. Woodward, who was rector in 1759, stated — "ancient 
people remembered the ruins of a mill in the stream hard 
by." This fulling mill was held of the king by John Eston, 
whose descendant is still lord of the manor. In the church 
are brasses to the memory of Henry and Roger Eldysley, 
" mercatores istius ville," and of William Whitway, "pan- 
narius et lanarius." The village had also a flourishing fair, 
which was held on the downs, and reached from Scutchamore 

104 



THE CHARM OF THE ENGLISH VILLAGE 

Knob to Hendred, along a straight green road once known 
as the Golden Mile. It was abolished by James I in 1620. 
All this testifies to the importance of this little village in 
former days, and of the flourishing manufacture of cloth 
carried on there. 

But the introduction of machinery, the invention of spin- 
ning jennies, carding machines, and like inventions, and the 
activity of the northern clothiers, turned the tide of fortune 
elsewhere and killed the village industry. Other trades have 
suffered in the same way. Gloves were made in many a 
village in Worcestershire ; lace in Buckinghamshire, where the 
industry has been revived, and in Devonshire, and old dames 
might have been seen at the cottage doors with their bobbins 
and pillows and " earned good money " by their deft fingers. 

The mill still stands, but it is a ruin, picturesque in its 
decay. The overshot-wheel is still and lifeless, with rotting 
timbers unhidden by pent-house or roof. 

"No wains piled high with corn roll heavily down the 
lane to disgorge swollen sacks to fill its gaping vats. The 
corn laws, the cheap loaf, ' which came as a gift to us poor 
folks,' killed the mill in the valley. Its business declined ; 
chains became rusty ; doors and windows fell out and the 
roof fell in ; the stream was diverted by a side cut, and the 
great oaken wheel hung rotting on its pin."^ 

It is one of the oldest houses in the village, and once one 
of the most important. It was the lord's mill, the mill 
owned by the lord of the manor, and to it all the tenants 
were obliged to bring their corn to be ground, unless they 
would undergo divers pains and penalties. But it is a ruin 
now ; its glories are departed ; its millstones adorn the 
squire's garden ; but it still adds beauty to the scene. The 
stream that once turned the great floats rushes calmly by, 
but its banks are the home of many ferns and flowers, and 
the weir is still a picturesque miniature cascade. Some 

^ Travels Round Our Village, by Miss Hayden. 












1^ '7'$' 



?^ 



THE CHARM OF THE ENGLISH VILLAGE 

water-mills still survive — " cool and splashing homes — homes 
ot peaceful bustle," as Mr. Lucas happily describes them — and 
the miller with his white hat is not quite dead, a pleasing 
personage in the village community. If old songs are to 
be trusted, he was always "jolly," " hearty," " hale and bold," 
especially if he lived by the river Dee, where 

He worked and sang from morn till night, 
No lark more blithe than he ; 

and mightily independent, caring for nobody as nobody 
cared for him. We cannot afford to lose such a sturdv, 
jovial character. 

The village once had other mills that derived their power 
not from the stream but from the wind, and in East Anglia 
these windmills still remain, relics of the age ere steam had 
begun to exercise its relentless sway. Our artist has given 
a sketch of that at Ballingdon, Essex, a typical windmill 
with its sloping boarded sides, its imposing cap, and giant 
sails that woo the wind. Sussex also has its windmills 
standing high and white, things of life and beauty, suitable 
for the grinding of the golden harvest of the fields, not 
ugly, noisy infernos like the steam-mills. Artists have loved 
to depict our windmills, especially Constable, than which 
there are no more charming features in an English landscape. 
Many have disappeared in recent years, but the name 
"Windmill Hill" often records their site and preserves 
their memories. 

Though many of our village industries are dead, we have 
others still very much alive. Besides the usual agricultural 
occupations, ploughing and sowing, digging, reaping, and 
thatching, we have our skilful woodmen who can fell and 
carry the largest trees with consummate ease, and it is a 
wonderful sight to see them roll these massive giants of the 
forest up the slides to the great wood-wagons, and the 
horses are as skilful as the men. Broom-squires still make 

io8 




..1 \^V 



.^^¥ 



AN ESSEX MILL, BALLINGDOX 



THE CHARM OF THE ENGLISH VILLAGE 

birch and heath brooms, and are a rough race. Two of 
them met at Newbury market and exchanged confidences : 

"Jack, I can't tell 'ow thee sells the brooms so cheap like. 
I steals the ling, I steals the butts, I steals the withies ; but I 
can't sell 'em as cheap as thee." 

" Why," said his companion unblushingly, " I steals 'em 
ready made." 

Hop-growing, cider-making, chair-making, straw-plaiting, 
and many other industries still live on, and it would be well 
it others could be introduced, in order to add to the pros- 
perity and relieve the monotony of ordinary rural existence. 



iio 



VllI 
ALMSHOUSES AND GRAMMAR SCHOOLS 

IN many villages there are old almshouses founded by 
pious benefactors for " poor brethren and sisters," 
God's hostels, where men and women on whom the 
snows of life have begun to fall thickly, may rest and 
recruit and "take their ease" before they start on their last 
long journey. Here the tired and the moneyless find harbour- 
age. Some of these houses are quite humble places erected by 
some good squire for the aged poor of the village ; others 
are large and beautiful buildings erected by some great noble 
or rich merchant, or London City Company, for a wider 
scheme of charity. Scattered over the country we find these 
delightful resting-places. We enter the quiet courtyard 
paved with cobble stones, or, as it is at Wantage, with 
knuckle-bones, relics of the town's former industry of tan- 
ning, and see the panelled dining-hall with its dark oaken 
table, the chapel where daily prayer is said, the comfortable 
little rooms of the brothers and sisters, the time-worn pump 
in the courtyard, the flowers in the garden beds and in the 
windows, and we are glad these old folks should have so 
sweet a home as they pause before their last long journey. 
Our illustration shows the pretty village of Ewelme, with a 
row of cottages half a mile long, which have before their 
doors a sparkling stream dammed here and there into water- 
cress beds. At the top of the street on a steep knoll stand 
church and school and almshouses of the mellowest fifteenth- 
century bricks, as beautiful and structurally sound as the 

III 







) 2 



ALMSHOUSES AND GRAMMAR SCHOOLS 

pious founders left them/ These founders were the un- 
happy William de la Pole, first Duke of Suffolk, and his 
good wife the Duchess Alice. The Duke inherited Ewelme 
through Alice Chaucer, a kinswoman of the poet, and " for 
love of her and the commoditie of her landes fell much to 




THE ALMSHOUSES, AUDLEY END, ESSEX 

dwell in Oxfordshire," and in 1430-40 was busy building 
a manor place "of brick and Tymbre and set within a fayre 
mote," a church, an almshouse, and a school. The manor 
place, or " Palace," as it was called, has disappeared, but the 
almshouse and school remain, witnesses of the munificence 
of the founders. We need not follow the fate of the poor 
1 H'lston of Oxfordshire, by J. Meade Falkner. 
I 113 



THE CHARM OF THE ENGLISH VILLAGE 

duke, favourite minister of Henry VI, who was exiled by 
the Yorkist faction, and beheaded by the sailors on his 
way to banishment. Twenty-five years of widowhood fell 
to his bereaved duchess, who finished her husband's build- 
ings, calling the almshouse " God's House," and then re- 
posed beneath one of the finest monuments in England in 
the church hard by. 

Near where I am writing is the beautiful almshouse called 
Lucas's Hospital, founded by Henry Lucas for the old men 
of several parishes in the neighbourhood, and placed in the 
charge of the Drapers' Company of the City of London. 
It is a fine Jacobean house of red brick with tiled roof and 
two wings. The Quainton almshouses are very picturesque 
and quietly impressive, built in 1687 by Richard Winwood. 
The building has eleven gables and four blocks of chimneys, 
and each inmate has two rooms opening out of each other, a 
porch with seats, and a little garden attached. 

Our illustrations show the beautiful almshouses at Audley 
End, Essex, an architectural gem, and the more imposing 
hostel at Corsham, with its great porch and immense coat-of- 
arms. It was built in 1663, and consists of six houses with 
a cloister, master's house, and free school, retaining some 
good woodwork. 

Nor did our pious benefactors forget the youth of the 
village and the needs of education. It is the fashion for 
short-sighted politicians to suppose that all education began 
in the magical year 1870, and to forget all that was done 
before to teach the youths of our village. The teaching 
given in the old dame schools at the beginning of the last 
century was defective enough. We hear of one of the best 
conducted by a blind man, who taught fairly well, but was 
rather interrupted in his academic labours by being obliged 
to turn his wife's mangle. A good dame confessed, " It is 
not much they pay me, and it is not much I teach them." 
The curriculum of another school was described by its mis- 

11 + 



v-s^:^ 



<^'' 






^z- 



"i ' ^* 



"■W-^^' 










'"^ - 



'">?U,- 



^Jii\ ' 



en r 



THE ALMSHOUSES, CORSHAM, WILTSHIRE 



THE CHARM OF THE ENGLISH VILLAGE 

tress : " 1 teach them to read and to sew, and the Belief and 
the Commandments, and them little things." And yet their 
scholars did not turn out so badly. Most of them can read ; 
writing is a little difficult, and they prefer, when required to 
sign their name to a will or marriage register, to plead 
incapability and to make their mark ; but the women who 



#s»'a"v:.v..' 




EARDISLAND, HEREFORDSHIRE 

The house in the centre was formerU' the Grammar School 



were taught in these schools can sew far better than girls can 
now, and the men can do wonderful sums in their minds, 
especially when these concern their wages. But 1 am de- 
scribing the old schools that existed in some of our villages, 
not simple elementary schools, but grammar schools, second- 
ary schools, where the boys learned Latin. Many of them 
are called Edward VI's grammar schools, but were really 
established long before the Reformation. Some three hundred 
schools were in existence before 1535, some of them taught 

116 



ALMSHOUSES AND GRAMMAR SCHOOLS 

by chantry priests, or by a schoolmaster provided by a 
guild, or by a master of a hospital or almshouse. Duchess 
Alice at Ewelme founded a school which appears in our 




/ ''14 






PORCH OF THE OLD GRAMMAR SCHOOL, WEORLEY, 
HEREFORDSHIRE (bUILT BV JOHN ABEl) 



sketch (p. 1 1 2). Childrey is a very small Berkshire village, but 
its smallness did not prevent William Fettiplace founding 
a free grammar school there in 1526, in which poor children 
could be taught elementary subjects and richer folk Latin. 
The founder's will is too long to quote, but he lays down 



i'7 



THE CHARM OF THE ENGLISH VILLAGE 

strict rules for teaching. Moreover, the chaplain-school- 
master was not allowed to " keep or breed hunting birds or 
to hunt regularly." A good old-fashioned grammar school 
is shown in the view of Eardisland, Herefordshire, and in the 
same county there is an old grammar school at Weobley, the 
porch of which is beautifully designed and proportioned. It 
was built by John Abel, the master of Jacobean timber work. 
This porch is enriched with some quaint carving typica 
of the period. Many years have passed since the building 
was used for a school, but it has undergone very little change 
during the two and a half centuries of its existence. It stands 
in a small town famous for its half-timbered houses (p. 3). 
John Abel was the most famous architect of his time, a native 
of Sarnesfield, who i)uilt market houses at Leominster (now 
preserved as a private residence, see p. 157, where the vane 
is illustrated), Kington, and Brecon, the grammar school 
at Kington, and restored the roof of Abbey Dore church, and 
did much else that is worthy of his name. His tombstone 
exists in the churchyard at Sarnesfield, where he was buried 
in 1674, aged 97, showing the figure of himself and his two 
wives and the emblems of his profession — compasses, square, 
and rule. Some of his creations have escaped the decay 
of time, but been destroyed by the hand of the vandal. 
May the good folk of Herefordshire prize and preserve 
all the remaining work of this great artist. 



118 



IX 



VILLAGE CROSSES, GREENS, AND 
OLD-TIME PUNISHMENTS 

IN many villages still stands the village cross, a pic- 
turesque object, often headless and dilapidated, but 
remarkable for its interesting associations and old- 
time records. Some stand in churchyards, others 
adorn the village green or open space where markets were 
once held ; and there are others standing lonely by the 
wayside, or that marked the boundaries of ancient monastic 
properties. Each tells its own story of the habits, customs, 
and modes of worship of our forefathers. Time has dealt 
hardly with these relics of antiquity. Many fell before the 
storm of Puritanical iconoclastic zeal in 1643, when the 
Parliament ordered the destruction of all crucifixes, images, 
and pictures of God and the saints. The crosses in London 
were levelled with the ground, and throughout the country 
many a beautiful work of art which had existed hundreds of 
years shared the same fate. 

The earliest crosses were those erected in churchyards, of 
which that at Tong, Salop, may be taken as an example. Its 
steps are worn by the rains and frosts of centuries. This 
cross preserves the memory of the first conversion of the 
Saxon villagers to Christianity. There are many Saxon 
crosses still existing, and some ot them have beautiful carving 
and scrollwork, which tell of the skill of Saxon masons, who 
with very simple and rude tools could produce such wonderful 
specimens of art. The crosses at Whalley, Ruth well, Bewcastle, 

119 







TONG, SALOP 



VILLAGE CROSSES AND GREENS 

Eyam, llkley, Hexham, Bishop Auckland, are all curiously 
carved with quaint designs, proclaiming much symbolical 
teaching, and were set up before churches were built by Wil- 
frid, Paulinus, and other saints who first preached the Gospel 
to the Saxon people/ There are several others in Somerset : 
Rowberrow, Kelston, and West Camel are Saxon ; Harptree, 
Norman ; Chilton Trinity and Dunster, early thirteenth 
century ; Broomfield, late thirteenth century ; Williton and 




THE MARKET PLACE, SOMERTON, SOMERSET 



Wiveliscombe, early fourteenth century ; Bishops-Lydiard 
and Chewton Mendip, late fourteenth century ; and Wraxall, 
fifteenth century. 

Market crosses are another class, and are found in large 
villages in which markets were held by royal grant to some 
great landowner or monastery. These were called " cheep- 
ing" crosses, from the Anglo-Saxon word cheapo to buy, 
from which Cheapside, in London, Chippenham, and Chip- 
ping Norton derive their names. The earliest form of 
a market cross was a pillar placed on steps. Later on their 

1 An account of these crosses is given in English Fillagcs (Methucn & Co.). 



THE CHARM OF THE ENGLISH VILLAGE 

height was increased, and niches for sculptured figures were 
added. Religion was so blended with the social and com- 
mercial life of the nation that sacred subjects were deemed 
not inappropriate for the place of buying and selling in a 
market-place. They reminded people of the sacredness of 
bargains. Subsequently they were enclosed in an octagonally 
shaped penthouse, wherein the abbot's servant or the reeve 




THE OLD MARKET HOUSE, PEMBRIDGE, HEREFORDSHIRE 



of the manor-lord received the market dues. The market 
cross at Somerton, Somerset, was built in 1670. It has 
three steps and some curious gargoyles at the weather-string 
angles. Numerous other examples exist in the same county. 
We give an illustration of the old market house at Pem- 
bridge, Herefordshire, but no cross exists there now. 
Markets were held in churchyards until the end of the 
thirteenth century ; hence the churchyard crosses would 
often be used as market crosses. 




CHILDS WICKHAM, GLOUCESTERSHIRE 



VILLAGE CROSSES AND GREENS 

As I have said, countless villages have their crosses, though 
they had no markets. They stand on the village green or in 
the centre of the village nigh the church. It was the central 
station for the processions when the villagers perambulated 
the village at Rogation-tide. Preaching friars harangued 
the people standing on its steps. Penitents were ordered 
to make their pilgrimages barefoot, scantily attired, to the 
cross, which was sometimes called the Weeping Cross, and 
there to kneel and confess their sins. Fairs were held around 
it, which were originally of a sacred character, and were held 
on the festival of the saint to whom the church was dedicated. 
Many associations cluster round this old village cross. Our 
illustrations show the battered cross at Shapwick, Dorset 
(p. 122), and that at Childs Wickham, Gloucestershire. The 
steps and base of this are ancient, but the urn-shaped top is 
probably a later addition. Lymm, in Cheshire, has an 
elaborate cross, and near it are the village stocks, concerning 
which we shall have more to say presently (p. 126). 

Wayside crosses are less numerous than other kinds of 
crosses. Many have been destroyed. Some have been re- 
moved from their lonely stations and others pulled down, 
the stones being used for gate-posts. An old book published 
in 1496 explains their object : "For thys reason ben croysses 
by ye waye than whan folke passinge see ye croysses they 
shoulde thynke on Hym that deyed on ye croysse above al 
thynge." They are like a Calvary in a French village, and 
were erected for a similar purpose. Crosses were sometimes 
set to mark the spot where the bodies of illustrious persons 
rested during their journey to their last resting-place. Such 
were- the Eleanor crosses that were set up by Edward I 
at the places where the body of his beloved queen rested on 
the way to W^estminster. They formed a good boundary 
mark for monastic property, as on account of their sacred 
character few would dare to disturb them. Curious legends 
cluster round these crosses. There is one near Little Bud- 

125 



THE CHARM OF THE ENGLISH VILLAGE 

worth, Cheshire, which is gradually sinking into the earth. 
According to the prophet Nixon, when it quite disappears the 
end of the world will come. It is getting near the ground ; 
we do not wish to cause our readers unnecessary alarm. 
Hard by the cross is the village green, the scene of the 




~ ^>,\v 



DINTON GREEN, BUCKS 



old village games and revels, where the May-pole was raised 
and the rustics danced around. Here the old games and 
bouts of quarter-staff and back-sword play took place ; here 
the English bowmen learned their skill, and the Whitsun 
rejoicings were celebrated — 

A day of jubilee, 

An ancient holiday, 
When lo ! the rural revels are begun, 
And gaily echoing to the laughing sky 

O'er the smooth-shaven green. 

Resounds the voice of mirth. 

128 



VILLAGE CROSSES AND GREENS 

Our artist has given sketches of the characteristic greens at 
Sevenhampton, Gloucestershire, and the Buckinghamshire 
greens at Penn and Dinton. We should like to linger in 
these villages and inspect the interesting church at Dinton 




THE POND, Tyler's green, penn, bucks 

and the old manor-house with its pictures and curios and its 
associations with Simon Mayne the regicide, and to see the 
house of the Penn family, but want of space will not allow of 
this digression. 

In the sketch of Tyler's Green there is shown the village 
pond which in some cases was the scene of rural justice. 
K 1 29 



THE CHARM OF THE ENGLISH VILLAGE 

At the end of the pond in olden times was a long plank 
which turned on a swivel, with a chair at one end. This 
machine was fastened to a frame which ran on wheels, and 
when justice had to be administered it was pushed to the 
edge of the pond. It was called a ducking-stool, or "cuck- 
ing-stool," and was used to duck scolds or brawlers. The 





RYE COLESHILL, WARWICKSHIRE BERKSWELL 

PILLORIES, STOCK?, AND WHIPPING-POSTS 



culprit was placed in the chair, and the other end of the 
plank was raised several times, so that the ardour of the 
culprit was cooled by frequent immersions in the cold water 
of the pond. We give an illustration of the ducking-stool 
at Leominster, now in the Priory Church. 

We have already caught a glimpse of the stocks at Lymm 
(p. 126). This rude instrument of justice stood on the village 
green or near the cross, and sometimes beside it, or in con- 

130 



OLD-TIME PUNISHMENTS 

junction with it, a pillory which held fast the head and arms 
of the culprit, while the villagers threw stones, rotten eggs, 
and other missiles at the unhappy victim of rude rustic 
justice. Two miles from Canterbury is the quaint little town 
of Fordwich, once a borough and a Cinque Port, now little 
more than a village. Its town-hall is a quaint building 
which preserves a duckini^-stool. The seats of the old 
mayor and aldermen are at the far end of the room ; the 
jury-box is on the left ; the ducking-stool on the central 
beam ; the prisoner's bar in the centre ; and above you can see 




DUCKING-STOOL, LEOMINSTER, HEREFORDSHIRE 



the press-gang's drums which used to beat a merry tattoo in the 
little town when the press-gang came to carry off some poor 
country lad to serve in H.M. Navy. In a north-country 
inn there is a sad relic of the story of a pressed man. A 
young man rode up to the inn with a horse which had cast 
its shoe, holding in his hand the treacherous shoe. The 
press-gang were regaling themselves in the hostelry. As 
he seemed a vigorous youth they seized him. He asked 
leave to nail his shoe to the beam of the staircase, saying 
that when he came back from the wars he would come and 
reclaim it. But he never came, and the shoe hangs there to 
this day, a sad memorial of a gallant sailor who died for his 
country in one of Nelson's battles. 

One other relic of old times our artist has depicted : the 

131 



OLD-TIME PUNISHMENTS 



dread gibbet-irons wherein the bones of some wretched 
breaker of the laws hung; and rattled as the irons creaked 
and groaned when stirred by the breeze. No wonder our 
villagers fear to walk to the neighbouring cross-roads, where 
the dead highwayman or other lawless criminal was hung. 
It must have been ghostly and ghastly. I am 
tempted to digress and tell many a story of 
noted highwaymen, of Bagshot Heath on a 
moonlight night, of the haunts of the knights 
of the road, the village inns where they sought 
refuge and astonished the rustics by their strange 
tales. I am tempted to tell of their victims, one 
of whom sano; — 

Prepared for war, now Bagshot Heath we cross, 
Where broken gamesters oft repair their loss, 

and of the prudent Lady Brown, who readily 
yielded up her purse to the highwaymen, de- 
claring afterwards to Horace Walpole that she 
did not mind in the least, " there was nothing 
but bad money in it. I always keep it on purpose." 
But hangings and gibbetings thinned the ranks of these 
notorious highwaymen, and happily the village was freed 
from the presence of their bodies. The name Gibbet Com- 
mon remains in some places to remind us of the lawlessness 
of the past, and museums still preserve these dread irons 
that once startled poor travellers and kept the rustics to 
their own firesides after dark. 




GIBBET- 
IRONS, RYE 



133 



X 

BARNS AND DOVECOTES 

A CHARMING feature of a village are the old barns 
which cluster round the farmstead. The build- 
ing of great barns has rather gone out of fashion 
since flails and hand-thrashing became extinct, 
and we know many new farms which have no barns at all. 
Perhaps they are not so necessary now as they once were, 
and modern agriculture does not need them. Be that as it 
may, the fine old barns are picturesque and attractive build- 
ings, and still have their uses. The grandest of them are 
the ancient tithe or grange barns formerly attached to some 
monastery, built in the fourteenth century, as strong as a 
church and as fine as a minster. Happily many of these 
mediaeval structures have been spared to us, and the village 
is fortunate which possesses one. In one day's excursion 
with the Berks Archaeological Society we discovered two of 
them, one of the finest in England at Great Coxwell, and 
just over the border in Wiltshire the smaller but no less 
beautiful fourteenth-century barn at Highworth. It is, of 
course, well known that until the year 1836 all tithes were 
paid in kind. An old man in Cholsey, Berkshire, remembers 
the clerk going round the cornfield and placing a peg in 
every tenth sheaf in order to show that it belonged to the 
vicar of the parish. All other kinds of grain, hay, wool, 
peas, beans, etc., were tithed in the same way. Indeed, a 
woman who had ten children thought she ought to pay 
tithe, and sent her tenth child to the rector of her parish, 

'3+ 



BARNS AND DOVECOTES 

who, being a kind-hearted man, accepted the payment of 
this unusual tithe and brought up the child. 

The collecting of tithe in kind necessitated a place in 
which to store it. Hence tithe barns had to be built, and 
from mediaeval times onwards almost every village had its 
tithe barn. I am again tempted to digress in order to tell 
how this system of tithe-paying grew up. It dates back 




A BARN AT DOULTING, SOMERSET 

to early Saxon times. Even Ethelbert, the first Christian 
king of Kent, converted by Augustine, allowed a tenth to 
God, which he called God's Fee, and what was first a 
voluntary gift for the support of the Church became a legal 
obligation. It is outside our subject to discuss the origin 
of tithes. We are inspecting barns, and we understand why 
tithe barns were needed. The old monasteries had vast 
estates. They had their own barns near their monasteries ; 
these were not for tithes, but for the produce of their home 

135 



THE CHARM OF THE ENGLISH VILLAGE 

farms that lay around their monastic house. In other parts 
of the county or district they had other large estates which 
they called granges, and on these properties they had grange 
barns, and each rector or vicar had his tithe barn, which was 
much smaller than the others. Sometimes the monastery 
took all the tithe of a parish and had its tithe barn, as at 
Highworth, and paid back to the vicar something for taking 
the dutv. This was unfortunate, as when the monasteries 










"l"'l,l" , 



lyli 



-*^ii|lliteil«i 




BARN AT ARRETON, ISLE OF WIGHT 



were dissolved the king and his greedy courtiers took 
possession of this monastic tithe and only paid the vicar a 
small stipend, and the Church of England has suffered ever 
since. More tithe now goes into the hands of laymen than 
into those of the parochial clergy. 

We give an illustration of the fine barn of the abbots 
of Glastonbury at Doulting, Somerset. It is a grand build- 
ing, and is of earlier date than most of the great monastic 
barns, most of which were built in the fourteenth century. 
This is a fine thirteenth-century structure. The walls are 

136 



BARNS AND DOVECOTES 

three feet in thickness, built of the freestone of the neiorh- 
bouring quarries. It measures 95^ feet by 60 feet, and has 
two porches. The buttresses are thick and massive, and 
may have been added later than the date of the original 
building. The roof is constructed of fine oak, and is covered 
with stone slabs. This was a grange barn belonging to 
Glastonbury, where there is a noble abbot's barn, built in 
1420, cruciform in plan and much ornamented. Our Berk- 
shire barn at Great Coxwell belonged to the Cistercian Abbey 
of Beaulieu, and is of immense size. The inside measure- 
ments are 152^ feet by 38^ feet, and it rises to a height 
of 51 feet to the ridge. The walls are four feet in thickness. 
Immense timbers rise from the ground forming piers which 
divide the barn into a giant nave with two aisles. There 
is a fine porch with a tallat in which the monks are said to 
have slept when they came to Coxwell to reap the harvest 
on their Berkshire estate. The floor is beaten mud, and 
this noble structure is roofed with Stonesfield slate. It is 
a grand example of fourteenth-century building. A few 
miles away, as I have said, is the Highworth barn, con- 
structed much in the same style but on a smaller scale. 

There is a good rectory barn at Enstone, Oxfordshire, 
built in 1382 by the abbot of Winchcombe at the request 
of Robert Mason, the abbot's bailiff. Shirehampton, near 
Bristol, has a large barn which perhaps formerly belonged 
to Llanthony Abbey, a picturesque building covered with 
creepers. Bredon, Worcestershire ; Harmondsworth, Middle- 
sex ; Naseby, Northants ; Heyford, Oxfordshire ; Swalcliffe 
and Adderbury, all possess wonderful examples of these 
mediceval buildings. Our artist gives us a sketch of a 
noble barn at Arreton, in the Isle of Wight, which has a 
grandly thatched roof gracefully curved, and a large porch. 
Together with the other farm buildings it helps to form a 
very picturesque group. 

Another additional attraction to the manor-house or 

137 



THE CHARM OF THE ENGLISH VILLAGE 

important farm is the pigeon -house or dovecote. Old 
monasteries and priories also were allowed to have these 
useful buildings. There is a very fine one at Hurley Priory, 
Berkshire, and there was a special officer, the columbarius, 
whose duty it was to attend to the pigeons in the dovecote. 




PIGEON-HOUSE, RICHARDS CASTLE, HEREFORDSHIRE 

This building was erected about the year 1307, and is of 
great interest. The countless niches, or nests, of chalk 
within this picturesque old building are very remarkable. 
It must have held countless birds, but when the prior and 
convent bargained with John Terry in 1389 to give him 
a pension including an annual dole of two hundred pigeons, 
the resources of the dovecote must have been severely taxed. ^ 

1 St. Marys, Hurley, by Rev. F. T. Wcthered, 1898. 
138 



BARNS AND DOVECOTES 

No one but the lord of the manor, the monks, or the 
rector was allowed to have a pigeon-house, which played an 
important part in the domestic economy of former days. 
It provided the only fresh meat that was consumed during 
the winter months, when the household depended upon salt 
meat except that which the dovecote supplied, and there- 
fore it was highly prized, carefully stocked, and zealously 
guarded. 

These columbaria have not been uninfluenced in their con- 
struction by fashion and style. We owe their existence to 
the Normans, who constructed massive round dovecotes 
entirely of stone. This style lingered on for centuries. 
When brickwork was again introduced in the fifteenth 
century round brick coluynharia were erected. Half-timbered 
ones were also fashionable, timber-framed, filled with wattle 
and daub, and subsequently they assumed hexagonal or 
octagonal shapes. 

Our artist has sketched a picturesque pigeon-house in 
Richards Castle, Herefordshire. Existing castle dovecotes 
are rare, but doubtless many were built, as their contents 
were very useful in case of a siege and during the winter 
months. I know not whether homing pigeons were ever 
trained to convey messages to other castles summoning aid 
for a beleaguered garrison. Rochester and Conisborough 
Castles have these useful pigeon-houses. There is a good 
circular dovecote at Church Farm, Garway, Herefordshire, 
built by the Knights Hospitallers in 1320. Some of these 
examples are very large, such as the one at South Littleton, 
which measures eighty-three feet in circumference.^ In order 
to reach the nests you climb up a ladder which revolves, and 
so enables you to reach any particular nest. There are some- 
times as many as 1000 nesting-places in these houses, and it 
must be difficult for a pigeon to discover its own nest some- 

^ "Dovecotes," an article in Home Counties Magazine, by Mr. Berkeley, 
Vol. VII, No. 32. 

139 



THE CHARM OF THE ENGLISH VILLAGE 

times if, like humans, birds are ever given to loss of memory. 
These nesting-places are cunningly devised. The openings 
are six inches square, and they reach fourteen inches into the 




riGEOX-HOUSE AT ODDINGLY, WORCESTERSHIRE 



substance of the wall. If the cavity were of the same size 
throughout its depth the bird would not have room to sit 
upon her scanty nest ; it therefore enlarges, right or left, 
into an L-shaped cavity ten inches in width. The holes are 
arranged twenty inches apart, in rows, each row being ten 

140 



BARNS AND DOVECOTES 

inches above the one below. An alighting-ledge projects 
underneath each alternate tier of holes/ 

We give an illustration of a dovecote at Oddingly, 
Worcestershire, a square half-timbered structure which 
must have furnished shelter for a vast number of birds. It 
is not so vast as the great dovecote at Lewes, which held 
4000 nesting-places, and was as big as a moderate-sized 
church. It was the property of the monks of the priory, 
and we may imagine that the possession ot such a flock 
of birds did not endear the reverend brothers to the neigh- 
bouring farmers, who were much relieved when the birds 
and their owners were compelled to fly away. One ot the 
causes of bitternesses which exasperated the peasants of 
France and brought about the Revolution, was the existence 
of these vast columbarid^ the denizens of which preyed upon 
the cornfields of the poor tenants and peasants and made 
their farms unproductive. 

Many of these dovecotes have disappeared. It is well 
that they should be preserved as picturesque and pleasing 
objects, and as memorials of mediceval customs and ot the 
manners of our forefathers. 

1 Herefordshire Pigeon-houses, by Mr. Watkins. 



M' 



XI 
OLD ROADS, BRIDGES AND RIVERS 

THE story of our English village, its charm and 
fascination, is incomplete without an account of its 
roads and trackways. " It you wish to read aright 
the history of a district, of a city, or of a village, 
you must begin by learning the alphabet of its roads," wisely 
observes a writer in Blackwood's Magazine. These are the 
oldest of all ancient landmarks. The position of the village, 
its plan and boundaries, the story of earthworks, burying- 
grounds, church and castle, all depend upon the roads. How 
was their course originally determined "i Who first planned 
them } Perhaps our earliest ancestors followed the cross- 
tracks by which the wild animals descended from the high 
ground to the water. Where hard dry roads now run along 
the river valleys by the beds of streams there was in ancient 
times marsh or far-spreading overflowing sheets of water. 
Hence our ancestors followed the natural features of the 
hills. Our first roads ran along the highest ridges of the 
hills ; subsequently more sheltered ways were sought by 
the hill-sides. The shallowest parts of the rivers were sought 
where they could find fords. Trails through the woods 
became pack-horse roads, were then widened into wagon- 
tracks, and at last developed into fine smooth roads. Seme 
of the roads by which we travel to-day have been traversed 
by an infinite variety of passengers. Our Celtic forefathers, 
their Roman conquerors, Saxon hosts, Norman knights, 
mediaeval merchants and pilgrims to the shrines of St. Thomas 

142 



OLD ROADS, BRIDGES AND RIVERS 

of Canterbury or our Lady of Walsingham, the wains of the 
clothiers piled high with English cloth, gallant cavaliers and 
the buff-coated troopers of Cromwell, all follow each other in a 
strange procession along these country roads, and we have 
seen already the ghosts of the old stage coaches, the " Light- 
ning" and the "Quicksilver," and heard the cheery notes of 
the post-horn, which were far more melodious than the hoot 
of the motor-car. 

Straight through the heart of the village runs the old 
Roman road. It was "old" before the Romans came. You 
can see on the hills around earthworks and camps that 
guarded this road, and are relics of British tribes and pre- 
historic races which flourished here lone before the Romans 
came to conquer our island. There is the great Watling 
Street, Ermine Street, the Icknield Way or the road of the 
Iceni, ancient trackways of the tribes. High on the Berk- 
shire downs this last road runs, known as the Ridgeway, 
while below it is the later road, the " Portway," probably 
British too, but used and improved by the Romans. From 
the east coast to the west the whole road ran ; Watling 
Street from Dover through London to the north ; the Fosse 
and Ermine Street were west-country roads, and there were 
numerous others. The Romans transformed these British 
trackways, levelled, straightened, and paved them, and formed 
new lines of roads leading from one to another of the many 
stations which they established in all parts of the country. 
Camden describes the Roman ways in Britain as running in 
some places through drained fens, in others through low 
valleys, raised and paved, and we have traversed the famous 
High Street on the top of Westmoreland hills, and dug 
a few inches beneath the turf to find the pavement laid 
by these wonderful people. No wonder the Saxon folk 
deemed these ways the work of demons or demi-gods, and 
called the road from Staines to Silchester the Devil's High- 
way. 

143 . 



THE CHARM OF THE ENGLISH VILLAGE 

Fords were at first used by the Romans for crossing 
streams and rivers, but these were ill-suited to their require- 
ments, and during their domination the first era of bridge- 
building set in. So substantial were these structures that 
through centuries of Saxon and Norman rule they survived 
and remained in use almost to our own day. After the 
Norman Conquest, when the country settled down and new 
towns and villages arose, another period of bridge-buildinrf 




SONNING ON THAMES, BERKSHIRE 



began, which has left us many beautiful examples of architec- 
tural art. Their builders were great landowners and mer- 
chants, wealthy abbeys, special guilds like that at Maiden- 
head, which not only erected the bridge but afterwards 
maintained it, and the corporations of cities and towns. It 
was considered a religious work, this bridge-building, and a 
chapel was not infrequently built on the bridge, wherein the 
traveller could pray for the soul of the kind builder, 
and seek a blessing on his journey and imp'ore a sate 
passage across the river. These old bridges have been 

H+ 



OLD ROADS, BRIDGES AND RIVERS 

restored and repaired again and again, but they often retain 
a considerable part of their ancient structure. The Kentish 
river Medway Is spanned by several of these old bridges. 
There Is the old bridge at Yaldlng, with Its deeply embayed 
cut-waters of rough ragstone, which have been frequently 
repaired, but It Is substantially the original bridge as it was 
constructed in the fifteenth century. There Is the pictu- 
resque bridge at Twyford, Kent ; another at Latlngford with 
a buttressed cut-water ; another at Teston ; and the fine 
fifteenth-century bridge at East Farleigh, with four ribbed 
and pointed arches and bold cut-waters of wrought stone. 

We give an illustration of the picturesque bridge at 
Sonning, Berkshire, beautiful in colour, cool and comely In 
its arches, the subject of many paintings. There are three 
bridges across the Thames at this delightfully picturesque old 
village, and parts of them have been already gradually re- 
built with iron fittings, and further demolition is threatened, 
even if It has not already taken place. Originally these 
bridges were the glory of the village and date from mediaeval 
times. They are built of brick, and good brick Is a material 
as nearly imperishable as any that man can build with. 
There is hardly any limit to the life of a brick or stone 
bridge, whereas an iron or steel bridge requires constant 
supervision. The oldest iron bridge in this country — at 
Coalbrookdale, in Shropshire — has just failed after 123 years 
of life. It was worn out by old age, whereas the Roman bridge 
at Rimini, the medlasval ones at St. Ives, Bradtord-on-Avon, 
and countless other places In this country and abroad, are in 
daily use, and likely to remain serviceable for many centuries 
to come. The increased use of terrible traction-engines 
of gigantic weight, drawing heavy wagons containing tons 
of bricks, creates fears in the hearts of the lovers of these 
ancient structures, and possibly those which lie In the track 
of these fearsome vehicles will not long resist their on- 
slaughts. They should be ruthlessly forbidden to cross 
L 145 



THE CHARM OF THE ENGLISH VILLAGE 

them, and their owners compelled to construct others more 
suitable to their unwieldy weight. Hideous iron-girder 
erections are good enough for them. 

The lore of old bridges is a fascinating subject. Abingdon 
has a bridge built in 1389 and connected with the Fraternity 
of the Holy Cross. The Guild had a Bridge Priest to pray 
for the souls of the benefactors and founders — John Brett 
and John Houchens, and Sir Peter Besils who gave the 




COLESHILL, WARWICKSHIRE 



Stone and left houses, the rents of which were devoted to its 
repair, and Geoffrey Barbour who gave some wealth for the 
same object. The Guild of St. Andrew and St. Mary Mag- 
dalene, established by Henry VI in 1452, maintained the 
bridge at Maidenhead. It existed as early as 1298, when a 
grant was made for its repair. The town owes its origin to 
the bridge, as Camden tells us that after its erection Maiden- 
head began to have inns and to be so frequented as to 
outvie its neighbouring mother. Bray, a much more ancient 
place. The present graceful bridge was built in 1772 from 

146 



OLD ROADS, BRIDGES AND RIVERS 

designs by Sir Roland Taylor. A beautiful old bridge con- 
nected Reading and Caversham, and it had a chapel which 
contained many relics of saints ; but it has been replaced by 
a hideous iron-girder structure. We give a sketch of the 
graceful old bridge at Coleshill, Warwickshire, with its six 
arches and massive cut-waters. The bridge and river, the 



< ~ :■- '"\*»»^\.,s . . 



» 







SUNRISE ON THE STOUR AT NAYLAND, SUFFOLK 

village street and houses embedded in trees, and the tall spire 
of the church, form a beautiful group. 

The rivers and streams that flow through or near many 
villages add greatly to their charm. In Berkshire we have 
our Thames, which poets call " stately " or " silvery," the 
great watery highway traversed by Saxons and then by ruth- 
less Danes, who burned the towns and villages along its 
banks, and left behind them weapons which are eagerly 
sought after by the antiquary. The whole story of the 
Thames would fill volumes from the time when it was a 
wide-spreading river opening out into large lagoons until 



THE CHARM OF THE ENGLISH VILLAGE 

it contracted its bed, and was at last chained and locked and 
bound, and made to turn innumerable mills and convey 
securely barges and boats on its comparatively smooth sur- 
face. It can still be angry and rage and swell with mighty 
floods and torrents, but it invites with pleasant smiles the 
water-idlers on a summer afternoon and the keen oarsmen 
who love to strive along its course during the greatest 
regatta of the world. But the smaller and less stately rivers 
and streams are no less inviting to the lover of nature ; 
rivers just wide enough for small boats, where you can idle 
and fish or watch the kingfishers. Such a river is the Stour 
at Nayland, Suffolk, or the Rother in Sussex, where " one 
can walk by its side for miles and hear no sound save the 
music of repose — the soft munching of the cows in the 
meadows, the chuckle of the water as a rat slips in, the 
sudden yet soothing plash caused by a jumping fish. Around 
one's head in the evening the stag-beetle buzzes with its 
multiplicity of wings and fierce lobster-like claws out- 
stretched."^ In summer the river that flows through the 
village looks enchanting with its wealth of lilies, reeds, and 
rush " with its lovely staff of blossom just like a little 
sceptre"; the low riverside meadows that "flaunt their mari- 
golds " ; or in winter, when 

Nipped in their bath the stalk-reeds one by one 
Flash each its clinging diamond in the sun. 

Possibly near your village you may find a melancholy long- 
disused canal. It is now covered with green weeds and 
■overgrown with reeds and rushes. No barge ever tries to 
make its way along it. Just a hundred years ago it was 
dug with eager zeal. Thousands of pounds were spent 
upon it. A network of such canals was made late in the 
eighteenth and early in the nineteenth century. For a few 
jears they rejoiced in their strength. They connected 

^ Highways and Byzcays in Sussex, by E. V. Lucas. 
148 



THE CHARM OF THE ENGLISH VILLAGE 

navigable rivers. Barges laden with coals and goods of all 
kinds conveyed their treasures to country towns and villages. 
A roaring trade was done at the wharfs, and all was anima- 
tion, when the tiresome railways were invented and killed 
the canal, which remains silent, derelict. It is a pathetic 
story. Some hopeful people declare they have a great future 
and may yet be used ; but in the meantime they are still, 
the homes of water-fowl and fish, their banks glorious with 
reeds and flowers, while bridges and locks are not without 
a peculiar charm, and afford subjects for melancholy philoso- 
phers. 

We have traversed the old roads, crossed bridges and, like 
our village rustics, loved to linger upon them, and watched 
the river as it flows and the stagnant waters of the canal. 
Our course takes us homewards to our inn, and we have yet 
another bridge to cross, a footbridge like that at Coughton, 
Warwickshire, which Mr. Sydney R. Jones has so cleverly 
drawn. It does not look very strong and safe, and a heavy 
mian would like perhaps to have a bridge-chapel at its side 
in order that he might pray for a safe crossing. It is old 
and shakes terribly as we cross, but we pass in safety, and 
wander to our resting-place for our last night's sojourn in 
the village. 



XII 



SUNDIALS AND WEATHERCOCKS 



IT is not very easy for villagers to know the exact time 
by Greenwich. When the wind is favourable we 
sometimes hear the distant boom of the Aldershot 
gun which is discharged at one o'clock in the day 
and at 9.30 p.m., or the more prosaic sound of the steam- 
whistle of a neighbouring timber- works. Some village 
churches can boast of a clock, an old 
and venerable piece of mechanism 
which is guaranteed not to keep very 
accurate time. Moreover, it has only 
one hand and can only tell the hours, 
and the minutes have to be conjectured. 
But we have our sundials, and in the 
days before cheap watches abounded 
they were the only means for telling 
the time. 

These were often placed on the south 
wall of the church or on the tower, and 
when the sun shone upon it and indi- 
cated that the hour of Divine service 
was approaching, the clerk began to 
ring one of the bells or the ringers rang a merry peal. 
When the sun refused to shine, or when the nights were 
dark and the clerk had to ring the curfew, the time must 
have been somewhat uncertain unless he possessed a clock. 
The sundial often stands in the churchyard upon a 

151 




tjfJttit\g(os\^ 



THE CHARM OF THE ENGLISH VILLAGE 

pedestal, or when the upper part of the churchyard cross 
has perished the stem has been used for the purpose. Chil- 
ham churchyard, Kent, has a very beautiful sundial with a 
very graceful stone pedestal designed by Inigo Jones. At 
Kilham, East Yorkshire, a stone coffin sunk into the ground 
has been used as the stem of a sundial which was placed 
there in 1769.^ We give an illustration of the massive sun- 
dial which stands in the churchyard of Elmley Castle village, 
Worcestershire. Viewed in the framework of the ancient 
doorway of the church-porch with the village beyond, it 
forms a very pleasing object. These primitive timekeepers 
are often adorned with ornamental ironwork, produced by 
the skill of the village blacksmith, and bear appropriate in- 
scriptions. There is a very curious one cut in stone near 
the sundial at Seaham Church, Durham : 

The natural clockwork by the Mighty One 

Wound up at first, and ever since has gone : 

No pin drops out, its wheels and springs are good, 

It speaks its Maker's praise tho' once it stood ; 

But that was by the order of the Workman's power|; 

And when it stands again it goes no more. 

There is a very charming inscription on the sundial in 
Shenstone churchyard, near Lichfield. It runs : 

If o'er the dial glides a shade, redeem 
The time ; for, lo, it passes like a dream. 
But if 'tis all a blank, then mark the loss 
Of hours unblest by shadows from the cross. 

The dial is formed by a cross surmounting a pillar, the cross 
being placed in a leaning position, the arms of which cast 
shadows on the figures engraved on the sides of the shaft. 

Others content themselves with simpler rhymes, sententious 
mottoes, or appropriate texts from the Bible, such as the in- 
scription at Isleworth, Middlesex, which runs : 

Watch and pray. 

Time passeth away like a shadow. 

^ Curious Church Customs^ by W. Andrews, p, 156. 




'iiillKlh "^ ^ > v.v^ 



THE SUNDIAL IN ELMLEY CASTLE VILLAGE CHURCHYARD, 
WORCESTERSHIRE 



THE CHARM OF THE ENGLISH VILLAGE 

The motto on an ancient dial at Millrigg, near Penrith, 
inscribed by some member of the Order of Knights Hospi- 
tallers of St. John of Jerusalem, is worth recording. It is 
in the form of a dialogue between the dial personified and 
the passenger : 

Diall 
Stale, Passinger. 
Tell me thy name, 
Thy nature. 

Passr 
Thy name is die 
All, I a mort all 
creation. 

Diall 
Since my name 
And thy nature 

Soe agree, 
Thinke on thy selfe 
When thov looks 

Upon me. 

The Eyam sundial is remarkable. It has the names of 
several places inscribed upon it in order to show the differ- 
ences of time, and also the tropics are marked with the motto : 

Induce am mum sapient em, 1773* 

The multiplication of clocks and watches has rendered the 
use of sundials obsolete. But though rare in villages, clocks 
can claim a considerable antiquity. Peter Lightfoot, a monk 
of Glastonbury, was an ingenious maker who fashioned 
in 1335 for his monastery a wonderful clock which not only 
told the time, but made some figures move so as to represent 
a knightly tournament. Another of his works of skill exists 
at Wimborne Minster. Some village clockmakers two 
hundred years ago were very clever, and have left us some 
admirable "grandfathers" which are now eagerly sought 
by collectors. I have been fortunate enough to acquire 
three such clocks, two of which date from the end of the 
seventeenth century. Villagers are very skilful in knowing 

•5 + 



SUNDIALS AND WEATHERCOCKS 

the time without referring either to clock or watch, and 
their wits are especially keen when the dinner -hour is 
approaching. 

They are also remarkable prophets concerning the weather 
and the changes in the direction of the wind. They watch 
the vane on the church spire, and homely rhymes enable 
them to prophesy what the weather will be. Thus the 
Wiltshire peasant tells : 

When the wind is north-west 

The weather is at the best ; 

If the rain comes out of the east, 

'Twill rain twice twenty-four hours at the least. 

Another rhyme assures us : 

A southerly wind with showers of rain, 
Will bring the wind from west again. 

The north wind brings snow, wet, and cold. A north-east 
wind is neither good for man nor beast. But 

The wind in the west 
Suits every one best. 

The villagers can tell the kind of weather to be expected 
from watching the animals, who are famous prophets. Thus, 
an ass's bray foretells rain. The bees stay at home when it 
is likely to be wet. A crowing cock at even, or a bawling 
peacock, prognosticates rain. High-flying rooks or low- 
flying swallows predict bad weather ; and 

When black snails cross your path 
Black clouds much moisture hath. 

Whatever may be the value of this weather-wisdom, the 
vane on the church spire never lies. It is a beautiful and 
graceful object, which again bears witness to the skill of the 
village blacksmith. Its form is traditional, and has been 
handed down to our own day from the time of St. Dunstan. 
Its popular name we3.ther-cock suggests its shape. Why 
was this bird selected to preside over our spires and turrets ? 



THE CHARM OF THE ENGLISH VILLAGE 

It is the emblem of vigilance. Hugo de Sancto Victore, in 
the Mystical Mirrour of the Churchy tells us : 

" The cock representeth the preacher. For the cock in 
the deep watches of the night divideth the hours thereof 
with his song, and arouseth the sleepers. He foretelleth the 
approach of day, but first he stirreth up himself to crow 
by the striking of his wings. Behold ye these things mysti- 
cally, for not one of them is there without meaning. The 
sleepers be the children of this world lying in sins. The 
cock is the company of preachers, which do preach sharply, 
do stir up the sleepers to cast away the works of darkness, 
which also do foretell the coming of the light, when they 
preach of the Day of Judgment and of future glory. But 
wisely before they preach unto others do they rouse them- 
selves by virtue from the sleep of sin and do chasten their 
bodies." 

There was a weathercock on the cathedral of Winchester 
in 961 A.D., and Wulstan relates how it caught the morning 
sun and filled the traveller with amazement : 

" The golden weathercock lording it over the city ; up 
there he stands over the heads of the men of Winchester, 
and up in mid-air seems nobly to rule the western world ; in 
the claw is the sceptre of command, and like the all-vigilant 
eye of the ruler, it turns every way." 

Constant allusions to the erection of weathercocks are 
found in old records. Although the cock was the usual 
symbol, other forms may be found occasionally. A ship 
is sometimes seen surmounting the steeple, and the symbol 
of the saint to whom the church is dedicated is occasionally 
selected as a vane. Thus, in London, St. Peter's, Cornhill, 
has a key ; St. Lawrence, Jewry, a gridiron ; St. Botolph's, 
Aldgate, an arrow ; and St. Clement Danes, an anchor. 

But weathercocks are not confined to churches, and our 
artist has discovered several excellent examples of domestic 
vanes that grace the roofs of farm buildings, half-timbered 
houses, and humbler dwellings. In former days it was con- 

156 



SUNDIALS AND WEATHERCOCKS 




CLUN, SALOP 



sidered an important privilege to be allowed to set up a vane, 

and no one was permitted to erect a weathercock upon his 

house unless he were descended from 

a noble family. Indeed, some ancient 

authors assert that none could attain 

to that honour who had not been 

foremost at scaling the walls in an 

assault upon some city, or had first 

planted their banners on the ramparts. 

The form of these domestic vanes was 

usually the armorial bearings of the 

family, the crest or banner. The 

arrow, cock, and banner are common 

designs. Thus, at Clun, Salop, there 

is an arrow, and at Leominster a half- — 

timbered house called the Grange has 

a banner inscribed with the date 1687. 

It is interesting to note that this house was formerly the old 
town hall built by John Abel (see p. 1 1 8), and 
that when the townspeople wanted to demolish 
the structure it was bought by Mr. Arkwright 
and re-erected in his grounds as a resi- 
dence. The beautiful ironwork of this 
example should be noticed. The dovecote 
at Eardisland has a fish for its vane, and a 
cock and a hound are other forms shown 
in the illustrations. Even the cottage at 
Mansell Lacy, Herefordshire, has a little 
"~^ (V^ vane. It is a curious Herefordshire custom, 

I II notes our artist, to place a twig at the 

finish of the thatch in such a manner that 
it will revolve. To this twig is affixed the 
figure of a bird made out of thatching-straw, 
the whole thus serving the purpose of a 
The accuracy of such a vane, I should imagine, 
157 




HALF-TIMBER 

HOUSE, CALLED 

THE GRANGE, 

LEOMINSTER 

weathercock. 



THE CHARM OF THE ENGLISH VILLAGE 



may be a questionable matter, but that it revolves some- 
what there is no doubt. It forms a very pleasing finish to 
the ridge of a thatched roof. 

We have not exhausted the charms of our village. That 
would be a large volume which recorded all its attractions. 
There is the fascination of the wild-life, 
the birds and beasts, the butterflies and 
insects, that dwell in the neighbouring 
woodland, the treasures of the trout- 
j^\::.-----^ stream with its medley of exquisite 

'-^ ^JiTj things, where many a tiny creature finds 

sanctuary, undisturbed by the world's 
rude noise or the tread of the tourist. 
That wood is a haven of rest, a temple 
of silence broken only by the song of 
the birds, the sudden cry of a jay, or the 
scamper of a rabbit in the undergrowth. 
The beauty of the wild flowers — honey- 
suckles, mints, St. John's wort, wild roses, 
wild thyme, and a host of others — consti- 
tute a charm that never fails to please, 
for those who love Nature's treasures. 
The colours change in the glowing carpet 
of the woods. Now it is yellow with 
primroses ; now blue with wild hya- 
cinths ; now the giant bracken puts forth 
its head shaped like a shepherd's crook, and soon it grows 
as high as one's head ; and as the autumn season advances 
it turns its green fronds into dull gold that glisten in the 
sunlight. Even in winter the woods lose not their beauty 
and their charm. 

And now I come to the greatest charm of all, far greater 
than storied minster, palatial manor, or picturesque cottage, 
and that is the villagers themselves. Perhaps some day 
I may tell you more about them. They are the real charm 

158 




THE DOVECOTE, 

EARDISLAND, 
HEREFORDSHIRE 



SUNDIALS AND WEATHERCOCKS 

of our picture. All that I have told you is the tramework. 
I could tell you strange stories of their beliefs, their super- 
stitions, their shrewdness, their old-fashioned courtesies, 
their gentlemanliness, their sturdiness and bravery. But 
that is another story, and must be left for a future time. 

We have tried to paint the picture of our village, and to 
see all its graces and perfections. Mr. Sydney R. Jones, 





^< 




SHELDON, 

WARWICKSHIRE 



MANSELL LACY, 
HEREFORDSHIRE 



GREAT CHESTERFORD, 
ESSEX 



has drawn them with skilful pen, and I have but en- 
deavoured to point out their many beauties. I have told 
little of the buried treasures chat this hamlet holds, little 
of the lore and legend, little of the great men who have lived 
here and added honour to our annals. The parish chest 
is still locked, and the documents at the record office 1 have 
severely left alone. But we have seen how our village grew 
up from babyhood to man's estate — I will not allow that 
even now it is very old, or getting into its dotage — we have 
looked upon its treasures, its wealth of beauty, its rural 
homesteads, its paradise of flowers. We have admired the 

159 



THE CHARM OF THE ENGLISH VILLAGE 

wondrous skill of our forefathers who wrought so surely 
and so well, and so effectively used the materials which 
Nature gave them, whether stone or brick or timber, tile 
or slate, and thus discovered the true secret of the harmony 
with nature, the chief characteristic of English village archi- 
tecture. We may learn something from their example. We 
may learn to abstain from spoiling their work by the erection 
of cheap and inferior buildings which degrade the landscape 
by their crude colours and graceless form. We may learn to 
adhere to the same principles which guided them, cultivate 
the same means, and imbue our minds with the same sense of 
harmony and reverence tor antiquity, and then the charm 
of the English village will not be allowed to decay. Can it 
not be retained ? Cottages that are insanitary can be 
improved and made sanitary without being pulled down. 
Small holdings may attract new-comers, and honest, thrifty 
labourers may become their own masters and farm their own 
land. We who live in the country are a little incredulous 
about the results of the laws which some of those good 
members of Parliament who know nothing about us frame 
for our benefit ; but if in their wisdom they can devise any- 
thing to improve our conditions of life, we shall not be 
ungrateful. Sometimes we, whose lot it is to live in an 
English village, sigh for a larger outlook, a more extended 
sphere of work, for contact with kindred souls in the great 
world of art, literature, or science ; but life in the country 
is wondrously attractive to those who love nature, and we 
are thankful that we have been called to work amidst the 
fields and lanes of rural England, and are able to appreciate 
the charm of an English village. 



FINIS 



INDEX 



Note. — The use of black figures denotes that the page reference is to an illustration. 

A Beaulieu, Hants, cottage at, 64^ 

Abbots Morton, Worcestershire, 6I5 9 

5r Bedfordshire. The kitchen well, 97, 

Abel, John, i 18, 157 101 

Abingdon, Berks, bridge at, 146 Berkshire, a garden in, 93-4 ; parget- 
Acton Trussel, Staffordshire. Cut ' ting in, 72, 75 

hedge and thatched verandah, 92, Berkswell. The stocks, 130 



93 

Alfriston, Sussex, parsonage at, 45 

Almshouses, 20, 111-114 

Ancaster quarries, 6 

Anchor-hold, 26 

Angle-posts, 51,54 

Appleton, Bucks, 91, 93 

Architecture of churches, 24; of cot- 
tages, 47-71 

Armorials, carved, 51, 74 

Arreton, Isle of Wight, great barn at, 

136* 137 

Ashford-in-the- Water, Derbyshire, ! Bridges, 144-50 



Berrynarbor, Devon, 6? 8 

Bewcastle, cross at, 1 1 9 

Biddenden, Kent, 14, 15; old cus- 
tom at, 14 

Binscombe, cottage at, 62 

Bishop Auckland, cross at, I 2 1 

Blacksmith, the village, 97, 1 00-101, 
155 ; shop, 104 

Bray, lych-gate at, 23 

Brenchley, Kent, 52, 57 

Brick, 8 

Brick-nogging, 57 



Broom-squires, 108-10 

Building materials, 4 

Burford, Oxon. A cottage window, 

77, 81 
Burwash, Sussex, 70? 7 1 
Buttresses, 24 



107 

Audley End, Essex. The almshouses, 

113, 11 + 

B 

Bagshot Heath and highwaymen, i 3 3 
Ballingdon. An Essex mill, 1 08, 

109 
Barge-boards, 63, 66-9 
Barley, Herts. Inn sign, 100, 103 
Barns, 134-7 
Bay, A, 57-8; central, 56; windows, , Carisbrook, from the Castle Hill, 17, 

51» 81 I 21 

M 161 



Calbourne, Isle of Wight, 68, 7 1 
Canals, 148-9 



THE CHARM OF THE ENGLISH VILLAGE 



Cavendish, Suffolk, 14, 17, 69? 71 

Chalegreen, Isle of Wight. A gar- 
den entrance, 86> 87 

Chapels on bridges, 144. 

Characteristics of villages, 17-22 

Chest, the parish, 32, 3 3 

Childrey, grammar school at, 1 1 7- 
18 

Childs Wickham, Glos. Chimney, 
79; the cross, 124, 125 

Chilham, Kent, sundial at, 1 5 2 

Chilmark quarries, 6 

Chimneys, 69, 79-81 

Chimney-crane and hanger, 77 

Church, village, 17, 23-33 

Churchyard crosses, i 19-21 

Churchyards, 23-4, 20> 29 

Clare, Suffolk. Inn sign, 103 

Clipping trees, 87, 88, 91, 92, 92 

Clocks, 151, 154 

Cloth trade, i 3 2 

Clun, Shropshire, lych-gate, 26 ; ^ane 
at, 157 

Coaching days, 95 

Cocks as vanes, origin of, 155-6 

Codford St. Peter, Wiltshire. Thatch- 
ing, 67, 7 1 

Coleshill, Warwickshire, the bridge, 
146, 147 '■> the whipping post, 130 

Columbaria, 138-41 

Cooking implements, old, 77 

Cornish cottages, 8 

Corsham, Wiltshire, the almshouses 
at, 114, 115 

Cotswold, a finial, 80 ; houses, 80-2 ; 
stone slabs, 64 

Cottages: architecture of, 47-71; 
decoration of; 72-82 ; description 
of typical, 49 ; details of, 72-82 ; 
interiors of, 74-7 ; modern, 47 

Coughton, Warwickshire. The foot- 
bridge, 149, 150 



Croscombe, Somerset. An old house, 
formerly the First and Last Inn, 
and mill-dam, 97, 98 ; cottage 
doorway, 77 

Crosses: village, 119-28; churchyard, 
119; market, i 20 ; wayside, I 2 5 

Cross-legged effigies, 33 

Cumberland, cottages of, 8 

D 

Dame schools, 1 14-15 

Deane, Northants. The Sea Horse 

Inn, 96, 97 
Derbyshire villages, 8, 10 
Description of an old cottage, 49-50 
Devil's Highway, 143 
Dickens, Charles, on the culture of 

flowers, 84 
Dinton Green, Bucks, 128, 129 
Ditcheat Church, Somerset, 23, 27 
Domestic vanes, 156-7 
Doors and doorways of churches, 28 ; 

cottages, 74, 76-8 
Dorset and Hants, varieties of walling 

from, 57 
Doulting, Somerset, a barn at, 135, 

136 
Dovecotes, 116, 138-41 
Ducking-stool, 1 30, 131, 132 



Eardisland, Herefordshire, the gram- 
mar school, 116, 1 18 ; the dovecote 
vane, 157, 158 

East Hendred, Berkshire, 104, 105 

Eleanor crosses, 125 

Elmley Castle village churchyard. The 
sundial, 152, 153 

Englishmen's love of gardens, 84-85; 

Enstone, Oxfordshire, barn at, 137 



[62 



INDEX 



Epitaphs, 24 

Essex, external plaster (pargetting) 

from, 73 
Evelyn's description of the squire's 

garden, 83 
Evolution of the modern mansion, 44-5 
Ewelme, Oxon., i i i, 112, 117 
Eyam, cross at, 121 ; sundial at, i 54 



Farleigh Hungerford, Somerset, 5, 8 

Farmhouses, 42 

" Filling in " of half-timber work, 57 

Flowers in cottage gardens, 86, 90-2 ; 
names of, 90 

Flyford Flavel, Worcestershire, in- 
terior of the Union Inn, 97, 99 

Fonts, 28 

Footbridges, 150 

Fordwich, Kent, the Town-hall, 131, 

132 

Foreign villages compared with Eng- 
lish, I 
Formal gardens, 92 
Fulling mill at East Hendred, 104 



Galleting or garneting, 62 

Garden of cottage, 49, 84-94 

Garden paths, 88 

Gardens, village, 83-94 

Garnacott (near Bideford). A cottage 

fire-place, 74, 78 
Garway, Herefordshire, dovecote at, 

139 
Geology in its relation to building, 4 
Gibbet-irons, i 3 3 

Gloves made in Worcestershire, 106 
"God's Acre," 23 
God's hostels, 1 1 1-14 



Godshill village. Isle of Wight, 17, 19 
Gothic spirit retained, 74, 80 
Grammar schools, 1 16-18 
Great Chesterford, Essex, 55, 60 ; 

vane at, 159 
Great Coxwell, 134, 137 
Great Tew, Oxon., cottages at, 66> 

69-71 
Greens, village, 20-21, 128-9; crosses 

on, 1 2 5 
Guilds for supporting bridges, 146 

H 

Half-timbered houses, 50-60 

Hall, the central, tradition of, 42 ; 

diminution in use of, 45 
Hants and Dorset, varieties of walling 

from, 57 
Harvington, Worcestershire. The 

Haunted Hall, 37, 38 
Haunted houses, 38 
Heraldic arms on houses, 51, 74; as 

weathercocks, i 5 7 
Herefordshire : cottage vanes, i 5 7-8 ; 

market-houses, 118; John Abel's 

work in, 118 
Herring-bone work, 58 
Herts, external plaster details (par- 
getting), from, 73 
Hexham, cross at, 121 
Highwaymen, 133 
Highworth, barn at, 136 
Hinxton, Cambridgeshire, 62, 65 
Horsham stone, 63-4 
Hour-glass in pulpits, 30, 3 2 
Hurley, Berks, pigeon-house at, 138 
Hurstmonceux Castle, Sussex, 35, 

36-7 



Ilkley, cross at, 121 



[63 



THE CHARM OF THE ENGLISH VILLAGE 



Industries, village, 102-10 I Lucas's Hospital, Wokingham, 114 

Ingle-nooks, 74, 78, 80 j Lych-gate, 23, 26 

Initials carved on houses, 73-4, 74, ' Lyme Regis, 58 

81 Lymm, Cheshire, cross and stocks, 126 

Inn signs, 97-103 



M 



Inns, 20, 95-100 

Interiors, 74-9, 81, 99, 101 

Intertie framed work, 56-7 , Maidenhead, bridge at, 146 

Iron bridges inferior to brick and ; Manor-house, 20, 34, 38-45 



stone, 145 
Ironwork, village, in inn signs, 97 
Isle of Wight, cottage gardens, 87 ; 

villages in, 19, 21, 68 
Isleworth, Middlesex, sundial at, 152 
Italian style, the, 34 ; in hour-glass 

stands, 32, 103 ; in vanes, 157 



K 



Kentish rag, 6 



Mansell Lacy, Herefordshire, 59, 65 ; 
cottage, vane at, 157, 159 

Market crosses, 121-2 

Market-house at Leominster, 157; at 
Pembridge, Herefordshire, 122 ; at 
Somerton, Somerset, 122 ; at Wat- 
lington, Oxfordshire, 13, 14 

Market-houses, 14, 122; built by 
John Abel, 1 1 8 

Marston Magna, Somerset, ingle-nook 
at, 80 ; cottage doorway, 79 



Kilham, East Yorkshire, sundial at, , Marston Sicca, Gloucestershire, 65, 69 

152 j Materials used in buildings, 4 

King's Norton from the green, Wor- i Mcdway bridges, 145 

cestershire, 23, 25 i Milford, Surrey, inn at, 97 

Knowle, Warwickshire, farmhouse : Miller, "the Jolly," 108 

Millrigg, Penrith, curious sundial 

motto at, 154 
Mills, village corn, 106-8 
Misereres, 32 

Lace made in Bucks and Devon, 106 , Modern cottages, 47 
Leominster : The Grange, vane from, ; " Modern Practical Carpentry " by G. 



near, 42 ; inn sign, 103 
L 



157 ; the ducking-stool, 131 
"Leper's window," 32 
Lewes, dovecote at, 141 
Limestone quarries, 4 
Lingfield, Surrey, old village shop at, 

102 
Little Budworth, Cheshire, headless 

cross, 125-8 
Little Hadham Church, Herts, 31 ; 

screen in, 32 
Little Hempton, manor house at, 40 



Ellis, 56 
Monastic barns, 135-7 
Montacute, Somerset, a cottage bay, 

5o» 51 
Monuments, 33 
Moor Hall, Humphries End, near 

Stroud, 39, 40 
Moreton Pinkney, Northants, ic, n 
Mortar, the strength of old, 60 
Mottoes on sundials, 152 
Mural paintings, 33 



164 



INDEX 



N 

Nayland, Suffolk, the Stour at, 147 
Newport, Essex, cottage at, 53, 58, 

60 
Norman architecture, 24 
Northamptonshire, i o 

o 

Oddingley, Worcestershire, pigeon- 
house, 140, 141 
Oolitic limestone, 6 
Ovens, 75 
Overhanging storeys, 53 

P 

Pargetting, 53, 60, 72, 73, 75 

Parish Chest, the, 33, 132 

Parsonages, mediaeval, 45 

Parvise, 26 

Pembridge, Herefordshire, the old 

market-house, 122 
Pet worth, 63 
Pews, 30 

Pigeon-houses, 1 3 8-4 i 
Pillories, 130 
Plaster-work, 72 
Pond, the village, 129, i 50 
Porch, cottage, 63 j the church, 26, 

117 
Porlock Weir, Somerset, 7, 8 
Post and Pan, 56 
Poundsbridge, Kent, 54, 60 
Press-gang, the, i 3 i 
Preston - on - Stour, Warwickshire, 

Frontispiece 
Projecting storeys, 5 1 -4 
Pulpits, 30, 31 

Q 

Quainton almshouses, i 14 
Quarries of building stone, 4-6 



R 

Reading, Berks, bridge at, 147 

Reading Street, Kent, brick and flint 
cottages, 58, 63 

Rectories, 45 

Rectory garden, the, 83-4 

Rectory, the old thatched, 68-9 

Reigate building-stone, 4 

Richard's Castle, Herefordshire, 
pigeon-house, 138, 139 

Ridge-tiling, 66 

Ringwood, Hants, a stormy sunset, 1 7, 
18 

Rivers and streams, 147-8 

Roads, 142-3 

Roman roads, 143 

Roofs of churches, 28-9 ; half- 
timbered houses, 56 

Roses, 90-2 

Rother river, Sussex, 148 

Rowington, Warwickshire, a farm- 
house, 42, 44 

Rushlight holders, 77 

Ruskin on preservation of old build- 
ings, 48 

Ruthwell, cross at, 119 

Rye, gibbet-irons, 133 ; the pillory, 
130 

S 

Saxon crosses, 119-21 

Schools, 20, 1 14-18 

Seaham, Durham, sundial at, 1 5 2 

Selborne, Hants, from the Hanger, 

16, 17 
Sevenhampton, Gloucestershire, 127» 

129 
Shapwick, Dorset, 123* 125 
Sheldon, Warwickshire, 159 
Shenstonc, near Lichfield, sundial at, 

1 si 



THE CHARM OF THE ENGLISH VILLAGE 



Shere, Surrey. " God's Acre," 29 

Shirehampton, barn at, 137 

Shop, the village, 102 

Signs and signboards, 97-100 

Skull, story of a, 38 

Somerset crosses, 121 

Somerton, Somerset, the market-place, 

121, 122 
Sonning, Berks, 144, 145 
South Littleton, dovecote at, 139 
South Stoke Church, Oxon., hour-glass 

bracket, 30 
South Warnborough, Hants, cottage 

topiary, 88, 93 
Sports, village, i 28 
Spratton, Northants, a cottage window, 

79» 82 
Squire, the old, 38 
Squire's garden, the, 83 
Stability of English villages, 2 
Stanton-in-the-Peak, Derbyshire, 9, 

10 ; a doorway at, 74, 76 
Stocks, 126* I 30 
Stone slate roofs, 64, 6(> 
Stones used in building, 4 
Stonesfield slates, 64 
Stoney Middleton, Derbyshire, 10 
Stour river, Suffolk, 148 
Streams, 147, 148 
Stretton Sugwas, Herefordshire, garden 

entrance, 87, 93 
Sturry, Kent, the blacksmith's shop, 

102, 104 
Sudbury, Suffolk, inn sign, 103 
Suffolk, Duke of, founder of Ewelme 

almshouses, i 1 3 
Suffolk villages, 14; plaster details 

(pargetting) from, 73 
Sulgrave, Northants, a cottage entrance, 

89, 93 
Sundials, 120, • 5 '-) 
Sussex houses, 63 



Sutton Courtney, Berks, 12, 13; 
manor-house at, 40 ; a cottage win- 
dow, 79, 82 

Sutton Green, near Stanton Harcourt, 
Oxon., farmhouse, 42, 43 

Symbols of saints used as vanes, 156 



Tadcaster quarries, 6 

Tennyson's description of cottage 

garden, 84 
Thames, the, 147-8 
Thatched roofs, 68-9 
Tiled roofs, 65-6 
Tile-hung houses, 60 
Timber used in construction of houses, 

8, 50-60 
Timber-framed houses, construction of, 

50-57 
Tithe and Tithe-barns, 134-7 
Tong, Salop, the churchyard cross, 120 
Tottenhoe quarries, 6 
Traditional style of building, 2 
Transom-framed houses, 56 
Trent, Dorsetshire, a cottage garden, 

85,87 
Tunbridge Wells, new sandstone of, 4 

Tyler's Green, Penn, Bucks, the 

pond, 129 

U 

Upton Snodbury, Worcestershire, a 
cottage porch, 63? 66 

V 

Vanes, 155-8 

Varieties of English villages, 2 
Vicarages, 45, 46 
Villagers, 158 



i66 



INDEX 



Villages, English, beauty of, i, 2, 22 ; 
characteristics of, 17-22 ; compared 
with foreign, i ; industries of, 
102-110; stability of, 2; variety 
of, 2, 3 

w 

Walling, great variety of, 57, 62 

Wantage, almshouse at, i 1 1 

Wargrave, inn at, 100 

Watermills, village, 106, 107, 108 

Watlington, Oxon. The market- 
house, 13 

Wayside crosses, i 2 5 

Weathercocks, 155-8 

Weather-lore, i 5 5 

Weobley, Herefordshire, 3, 8 ; porch 
of the old grammar school, 117, 118 

West Hendred, Berks, a garden at, 

93-4 



West Wycombe, Bucks, 13, 14 
Whalley, crosses, 119 
Whipping-posts, i 30 
Whittington, sundial at, 151 
Wild flowers, 158 
Wild-life of the country, 158 
Winchcombe, coat-of-arms from, 74 
Winchester, vane at, 156 
Windows, cottage, 79, 82 
Window-gardens, 88-9 
Windmills, 108 
Winson, Gloucestershire, cottages at, 

48, 50 
Woodmen, 108 
Wool, Dorset. The manor-house and 

bridge, 4.0, 41 
Worksworth quarries, 6 

Y 

Yeoman's house, the, 42 



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